Fauci’s legacy stained by COVID and by staying too long

Larry Lindsey
Conservative Opinion

Larry Lindsey

President & CEO, The Lindsey Group
Archive |

Now that Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced plans to step down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, some are re-assessing his legacy. Fauci has led the NIAID for nearly 40 years. During that time he led efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, Ebola and other serious outbreaks. But his work spearheading the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic led many to wonder if Fauci overstayed his welcome. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, even introduced legislation earlier this year to eliminate his position. Straight Arrow News contributor Larry Lindsey says Fauci’s legacy is stained by his role fighting COVID-19.

Shortly after we began lockdowns in early March, the president asked the former Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) chair Kevin Hassett to go in and just give them a briefing on what he saw would happen to the economy. Hassett laid out the facts. That the economy was falling at the fastest rate since the Great Depression, for example. The group assembled in the Roosevelt Room was stunned.

Everyone was quiet except Fauci, who had the first line – quote, “Am I still in charge here?”

He felt a rendition to the facts was a challenge to his position. Shortly after the virus hit, Fauci received information from his subordinate that there was a very good chance that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab. Well, this was not going to be good for Fauci or his career. Once the Obama presidency’s ban on this kind of research was ended, Fauci sent money to the Wuhan lab. Then when it came out, he realized that all of the work he did, all such lab work, which turned out led to the virus, would become politically unpopular, and would basically end the main function that he was involved in. 

He organized a publication in the magazine, “Nature.” He rallied all of the people who received his research to sign it. Well that then became the official line: That it had to have been developed in nature and not at the lab, even though the evidence even then suggested the opposite. Other views were suppressed – people who advocated the lab theory were banned from Facebook and Twitter, for example.

Later that year, there was a similar problem. A group of epidemiologists, leaders in their field, signed the Great Barrington Declaration. They included Professor Bhattacharya at Stanford, Professor Gupta at Oxford, Professor Kulldorff at Harvard. These are not fringe people. 

But Fauci’s boss, Francis Collins, wrote him and said, “These are fringe epidemiologists. There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of what they’re saying.” Well, Fauci responded, “That campaign is already underway.” And so a smear campaign against these epidemiologists – and by the way, thousands of doctors and epidemiologists signed the declaration – continued. It was called disinformation and misinformation. Those words are still around. Facebook and Google banned these distinguished professors and any support for the Great Barrington Declaration.

This was plain old censorship.

Recently Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that he would be leaving the government at the end of this year at age 80. He has been head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious diseases now for 38 years. Earlier in his career, he had done significant work…fighting the AIDS virus, and President Bush gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

But age 80 and 38 years and recent events have indicated the problem with someone who is entrenched in power for that long.

A few examples.

Shortly after we began lockdowns in early March, the president asked the former CEA chair Kevin Hassett to go in and just give them a briefing on what he saw would happen to the economy. Hassett it laid out the facts. That the economy was falling at the fastest rate since the Great Depression, for example. The group assembled in the Roosevelt Room was stunned.

Everyone was quiet except Fauci, who had the first line – quote, “Am I still in charge here?” He felt a rendition to the facts was a challenge to his position. Shortly after the virus hit,

Fauci received information from his subordinate that there was a very good chance that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab. Well, this was not going to be good for Fauci or his career. Once the Obama presidency’s ban on this kind of research was ended, Fauci sent money to the Wuhan lab. Then when it came out, he realized that all of the work he did, all such lab work, which turned out led to the virus, would become politically unpopular, and would basically end the main function that he was involved in. 

He organized a publication in the magazine, “Nature.” He rallied all of the people who received his research to sign it. Well that then became the official line: That it had to have been developed in nature and not at the lab, even though the evidence even then suggested the opposite. Other views were suppressed. They…people who advocated the lab theory were banned from Facebook and Twitter, for example.

Later that year, there was a similar problem. A group of epidemiologists, leaders in their field, signed the Great Barrington Declaration. They included Professor Bhattacharya at Stanford, Professor Gupta at Oxford, Professor Kulldorff at Harvard. These are not fringe people. 

But Fauci’s boss, Francis Collins, wrote him and said, “These are fringe epidemiologists. There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of what they’re saying.”

Well, Fauci responded, “That campaign is already underway.” And so a smear campaign against these epidemiologists – and by the way, 1000s of doctors and epidemiologists signed the Declaration – continued. It was called disinformation and misinformation. Those words are still around. Facebook and Google banned these distinguished professors and any support for the Great Barrington Declaration.

This was plain old censorship.

Now, let’s see what got to Fauci’s head. He didn’t like being criticized on the economics. He didn’t like being criticized on the land leaked theory, he didn’t like being criticized in his opposition to the Great Barrington Declaration. Then he said, quote, “attacks on me are attacks on science.” 

I’m sorry, Dr. Fauci. But censorship of opposing views is the antithesis of science. Your career may have had scientific benefit early on, but in the end, you ended up as the epitome of anti-science. This is Larry Lindsey for straight arrow News.