Dr. Anthony Fauci is an inspiration to future doctors everywhere — just ask him.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, dropped the stunning humblebrag Tuesday in a conversation with Dr. Larry Corey at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center campus in Seattle. He was describing a purported phenomenon Corey called “the Fauci effect,” but his explanation seemed to whipsaw between humility and delusion.
“Well, the so-called ‘Fauci effect’ is when a lot of people want to go into public health particularly, and science, because of the visibility of public health and science when you have a historic outbreak, and since I happen to be a very visible person, it’s called the Fauci effect,” the 81-year-old doctor said.
But it’s all based on what Fauci represents, and not him personally, he said.
“Trust me, I don’t get excited about that,” Fauci said. “I mean, it’s nice, I mean, people go to medical school now, people are interested in science, not because of me, because most people don’t know me, who I am, my friends know me, my wife knows me, but people don’t know me, it’s what I symbolize.”
Then he hinted at his well-known disdain for President Trump before cataloguing exactly what he believes he “symbolizes.”
“And what I symbolize in an era of the normalization of untruths and lies and all the things you’re seeing going on society, from January 6 to everything else that goes on, people are craving for consistency, for integrity, for truth and for people caring about people.”
FAUCI: “What I symbolize in an era of the normalization of untruths and lies and all the things you’re seeing going on in society, from January 6 to everything else that goes on, people are craving for consistency, for integrity, for truth.” pic.twitter.com/cdVuibrlSK
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 10, 2022
Fauci’s estimation of his own importance appears to have grown since last September, when he was asked about the so-called “Fauci effect.”
“You know, it’s flattering that people have interest in going to medical school in greater numbers because of the kinds of things they see people like me do,” he said in an interview with Infectious Disease News. “They [call] it the ‘Fauci effect’ … but I think it goes beyond Fauci.”
He added that the real heroes were the foot soldiers in the medical community and said he received an outsize share of the credit because he got so much publicity.
“They see me on television and in the newspapers and they hear me on the radio, so they’ve latched on to some person with whom they can identify, but there are thousands and thousands of physicians, nurses and health care providers who are the real heroes working hard in the trenches,” he said.
— John McCormick (@McCormickJohn) January 25, 2022
Fauci, who at various times during the height of the COVID pandemic recommended that people wear two masks and even think about wearing goggles, has his fair share of detractors, too. Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and a medical doctor, has sparred frequently with Fauci on Capitol Hill, accusing the doctor of helping to fund so-called “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan laboratory where many believe COVID originated. That type of research, which was banned by former President Obama, is aimed at making viruses more transmissible, and in some case more lethal.
Fauci denies funding gain-of-function research, but his claim has been met with skepticism, including during Senate testimony from three top scientists earlier this month.
“I think deep down he feels a moral culpability for this pandemic,” Paul told The Hill earlier this month. “He realizes there is a very good chance it came from the lab, and if it did come from the lab, it came from research that we were financing, ultimately, he and his decision-making should be judged in reviewing the history of where this pandemic came from.”
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has also been a harsh critic of Fauci. In an ad released earlier this year, DeSantis, who clashed with Fauci over his refusal to lockdown Florida’s schools and businesses during the pandemic, pointed out the NIH chief’s COVID flip-flops.
“People should not be walking around with masks,” the ad quoted Fauci as saying, before changing his guidance to say “masks work.” The Daily Wire noted that another pair of clips showed him claiming fully-vaccinated individuals did not need to wear mask alongside another clip in which he asserted people should still wear masks even if they were fully-vaccinated.
“Dr. Fauci, he flips, he flops, but he can’t stop freedom in Florida,” the ad stated before showing the message, “Fauci can pound sand.”
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