Fauci Tries To Rewrite History in New York Times Interview

Anthony Fauci Attempts to Rewrite Pandemic Response History

Anthony Fauci / Getty Images

In a New York Times interview published this week, former White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci repeatedly tried to rewrite the history of his role in the pandemic response, making statements in conflict with those he made as COVID-19 spread across the country.

Fauci’s Contradictory Statements

  • Now: “I’m not an economist. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not an economic organization. … We looked at it from a purely public-health standpoint. It was for other people to make broader assessments—people whose positions include but aren’t exclusively about public health. Those people have to make the decisions about the balance between the potential negative consequences of something versus the benefits of something.”
  • July 2020: “You don’t want to balance lives against the economy. So let’s get public health to help us to get the economy open as opposed to two opposing forces.”
  • Now: “I really don’t know [if vaccine mandates were harmful]. I wish I had an answer, but some very strange psychodynamics were going on in our country.”
  • October 2021: “We know that mandates work. … Although you’d like people to do it on their own accord, sometimes mandates actually can help in that regard—as sensitive an issue as that is, it is really getting people more vaccinated.”
  • Now: “I never criticized the people who had to make the decisions [on whether to lock down] one way or the other.”
  • 2021: “It’s understandable that people want to do the kinds of things they want to do. They want their freedom to do that. But there comes a time when you’re dealing with a public health crisis that could involve you, your family and everyone else, that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do.”
  • Now: “It is essential to have an open mind [about the lab leak theory]. And I have been this way from the very beginning.”
  • May 2020: “The scientific evidence ‘is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated. … I don’t get what [proponents of the lab leak theory are] talking about. … I don’t spend a lot of time going in on this circular argument.”

Fauci’s statements have been contradictory, with his current statements often conflicting with those he made in the past. For example, he now suggests that he deferred to public officials to balance health concerns against other issues, such as the economy, while in July 2020, he criticized leaders who opposed pandemic lockdowns in favor of keeping the economy functioning, saying public health measures should be the top priority.

Similarly, Fauci now suggests that vaccine mandates might have had a harmful effect, acknowledging that some Americans felt resentment at being forced to take the shot. However, in October 2021, he was all-in on vaccine mandates, praising the tactic as an effective way to vaccinate people who would refuse to otherwise.

Furthermore, Fauci has distanced himself from his calls to lock down communities, saying he simply echoed the Centers for Disease Control recommendations and accepted that people would make their own decision based on the advice. However, in 2021, he criticized an August 2021 motorcycle rally in South Dakota, saying he was “very concerned” the individuals’ decision to gather would cause a surge in cases.

Finally, Fauci has flip-flopped on the lab leak theory, with his current statements suggesting he has always been open to the possibility the coronavirus emerged from a lab leak in Wuhan, China. However, early on in the pandemic, Fauci shut down the notion that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese laboratory and even commissioned a study to disprove the theory.

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