No, Dr. Fauci, Criticizing You Is Not Attacking Science

Imagine - just imagine - if former President Trump said that criticism of himself was the same as attacking America.


And right there is the problem with Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Speaking with Chuck Todd, the host of MSNBC’s MTP: Daily, the topic was criticism of Fauci from Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn. The good doctor had had enough, as was noted in the account of his interview that appeared in Mediaite.  Senator Blackburn had accused Fauci of “cherrypicking information” in e-mails with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. (Or Vladimir Zuckerberg as he is fondly called in these precincts.)

With that, Dr. Fauci was off and ranting. I’ve supplied some bold print for emphasis here.

“It’s very dangerous, Chuck, because a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science. Because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science. Sometimes those things were inconvenient truths for people, and there was pushback against me.

So if you are trying to get at me as a public health official and scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you are attacking science. And anybody that looks at what is going on clearly sees that. You have to be asleep not to see that.”


The released e-mails of Dr. Fauci are causing him problems. Doubtless causing his angry rant. Here, for example, is a recent headline from The Washington Examiner:

Fauci said masks were not ‘really effective’ at blocking virus, emails reveal

The Examiner story said this:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an email correspondence last year that face masks aren’t needed unless an individual was sick and that the coronavirus was able to pass through personal face masks easily.

“Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading [an] infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” Fauci wrote to who is believed to be Obama-era Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in February 2020.

Fauci, also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added: “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out [the] virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in [keeping] out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.”

Now, of course, Fauci has been all about wearing masks. President Biden wears a mask everywhere. Millions of Americans have effectively been forced to wear a mask when they enter anything from their church to their grocery store – all because of Dr. Fauci.

So the obvious. The science either says “wear the mask” – as Dr. Fauci has been saying for months. Or it says, again per Dr. Fauci, don’t wear the mask. The science  – precisely because it is science – can’t be saying both. Yet somehow Dr. Fauci has been on both sides of the issue.

Which in turn says his critics are not attacking science – they are criticizing Dr. Fauci for not knowing the science and getting the science right.

What is really going on with Dr. Fauci’s rant to Chuck Todd is the fairly typical reaction of a political figure having had it up to his eyebrows with criticism, and suggesting that, as Fauci did, that criticizing the politician in question is the same as criticizing science.

Imagine – just imagine – if former President Trump said that criticism of himself was the same as attacking America.

One suspects Dr. Fauci would be one of the first to roll his eyes.

In short, Senator Blackburn was essentially right. Her criticism of Dr. Fauci was in fact about Dr. Fauci – not about science. The good doctor is, in fact, a fallible human being like all the rest of us on the planet. He can, in fact, get the science wrong.  And there is nothing wrong in saying that.

Now let’s talk the Wuhan Lab.  Oh wait. Dr. Fauci has changed his mind.