Dr. Anthony Fauci may be retired, but he continues to receive mainstream media attention and admiration. According to Dr. Phil Magnes, that may not change anytime soon.
“I think he will continue to play the media game… He seems to like being in front of the camera,” said the director of the American Institute for Economic Research.
In October 2020, Magness’s organization, initially aligned with the Great Barrington Declaration, criticized Fauci’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic in what they called “targeted defense” in promoting herd immunity at a gathering of doctors, scientists and infectious disease epidemiologists.
Fauci denounced the declaration as “absurd and extremely dangerous”, even though the lockdowns have been found to have caused significant harm to people in the years since they were announced.
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Magnes says this is due to Fauci’s love of the limelight and his “great disdain for democratic governance”.
“There’s a deep authoritarian extreme to what he’s approached with the pandemic,” Magness said.
When the pandemic began in March 2020, Fauci initially advised wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus and warned on “60 Minutes” of the “unintended consequences” of wearing masks.
Since then, she has continued to wear a mask and even spoke on MSNBC in July of this year about how difficult it is to convince people to wear a mask.
Fauci also undermined the use of vaccines once they become more widely available in 2021.
In April 2020, Fauci initially said that Americans would not be able to fully resume normal life without vaccination. However, by October of the following year, he admitted on CNN that it was “difficult to predict” when Americans might stop masking at home, even though vaccines have been available for months.
Fauci has been praised by the media throughout the pandemic, with Washington Post reporter Michael Gerson calling him “the greatest public servant” he has ever known in October. He also continued to be featured in various news segments across major outlets such as CNN and MSNBC, with anchors and hosts regularly thanking him and raving about his services. In recent weeks, several different publications have conducted “exit interviews” with him as he plans to leave his government post.
Magness attributed this affection for Fauci to his “symbiotic” relationship with the media, which sought to benefit Fauci and their industry.
“Obviously he’s going to pick up what the media wants to hear and then go on TV and repeat it again. And they’re like, ‘Oh, Fauci spoke.’ It’s true now.” But he’s just repeating his thoughts,” Magness said.
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He added, “I think it’s symbiotic with them. Here’s a guy who’s been in office for 40+ years. He’s built a very strong relationship by playing the media game until the AIDS epidemic in the 80s. So he’s a celebrity. A personality for that matter.”
Magness attacked the media and Fauci for politicizing the virus, despite the doctor’s claim otherwise.
“The other part of the media is that they’ve tried to create a very clear political line. The media tends to lean left for a variety of reasons, [and] [d]”During the pandemic, Fauci has become a hero of the political left in terms of the pandemic narrative, and so Trump himself has kind of rallied around this guy, even though he was initially pro-lockdown and was involved in appointing Fauci,” he said.
Magness added: “And the next thing you know, you’re wondering why the trust in public health authorities has gone down, because they’re not actually doing their job. They’re playing politics.”
As Magness points out, Fauci’s experience with the media dates back to his work with the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s, with many of the same mistakes.
At the time, Fauci warned Americans that AIDS could “devastate” the population and even infect young children through “intimate contact,” which some advocates described as stigmatizing the gay community. Less than two months after the accusation, Fauci later said it was “absolutely absurd” to suggest the disease could be transmitted through basic social contact.
AIER and Magness also documented Fauci’s AIDS missteps in a 2021 analysis of Fauci’s original claims about the virus.
“We know, of course, that Fauci’s theory is wrong. . . . However, when the media went to work to signal that AIDS was transmitted through casual contact, the damage was already done. Hundreds of newspapers carried Fauci’s dismal theory.” , says the analysis. .
Although Fauci’s conflicting stories were documented in journalist Randy Shilts’ book And the Band Played, Fauci continued to be hounded by the media decades later.
“There’s a whole chapter in there about how Anthony Fauci spread fear and how he got away with it … and it’s all been swept under the rug in the last few years during Covid. Unfortunately, some people have been the loudest. If there were votes against him, the Larry Kramer types died, so they’re no longer here to remind anyone that this guy screwed up the previous epidemic,” Magness said.
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A similar situation described as “flip-flopping” happened with the famous “lab leak theory” regarding the origin of the coronavirus. Fauci initially stated publicly in 2020 that he was “very, very strongly inclined” to the idea that the virus was “not man-made or intentionally manipulated.” However, emails released in 2021 revealed that despite Fauci’s assertions to the contrary, scientists were seriously considering the theory that the coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in January 2020.
Still, Fauci later said he and other scientists had always kept an “open mind” about the claim, as experts began to confirm the possibility of a leak from the lab.
In contrast, some scientists and journalists have revealed fear in discussing the lab leak theory, as they appear to contradict Fauci’s claims and agree with then-President Trump.
While Fauci has tried to portray himself as an apolitical figure, he has become increasingly hostile to GOP figures who have criticized his advice on the pandemic, his doubts about the lab leak theory and his potential financial ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He later argued that these attacks on him were attacks on science and on truth itself.
“Sometimes these things were an inconvenient truth for people and pushed against me, so if you’re going to attack me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really just attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci. You’re attacking science. you’re attacking, and anyone who looks at what’s going on can clearly see that,” Fauci said.
Magness argued that Fauci’s denials and his media coverage could at least indicate the risk of a highly politicized pandemic after his retirement.
“The danger of the pandemic being politicized in both directions and on both sides…. It’s all about empirical control,” Magness said.