Dr. Anthony S. Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. He has served as an advisor to 6 presidents, and the current pandemic is not his first. However, Fauci has received a lot of criticism over his delivery of COVID-19 information to the American public. Some people believe he is tempering his advice in order to maintain his position and continue to spread the truth about the virus. Others engage in conspiracy theories claiming he gives misinformation about treatments in order to make way for a vaccine in which he is invested. As Fauci flip-flops on mask-wearing, treatments, and the possibility of a vaccine, Americans are concerned about whether or not he has their best interests at heart.
One of the biggest sources of frustration for those who have not contracted COVID-19 is trying to find consistent information about the illness and how it spreads. Dr. Fauci originally stated that masks were not effective protection against the virus, and only medical professionals should wear them. Now, he clearly recommends them to all people who cannot socially distance. What changed? According to Fauci, he didn’t want medical professionals to run out of masks due to mask hoarding by the public. While his motives are understood, this decision decreased confidence in all information coming from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
President Trump and Dr. Fauci have also butted heads about treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, an immunosuppressant often used to treat Lupus. In a controversial op-ed, Trump advisor Peter Navarro said that Dr. Fauci claimed lack of evidence that the drug could effectively treat COVID-19 despite being shown evidence. In May, President Trump announced that he had been taking hydroxychloroquine prophylactically after possible exposure to the virus by staff. At the end of July, Representative Louie Gohmert tested positive and said he would also take the drug. Multiple physicians have provided anecdotal evidence that the drug works. For many, it will take too long to get the scientific proof needed to save their lives.
Conspiracy theories attempt to link Bill Gates, vaccine company Moderna, George Soros, and even Jeffery Epstein to Dr. Fauci. In July, Dr. Fauci said he is “not particularly concerned” about the safety of the vaccine even though it uses mRNA technology that has never been used before. Those who believe the conspiracy theories find this to be indicative of his financial interests in the vaccine’s development despite a lack of evidence.
Looking for Blame During the Pandemic
It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is not going to disappear, as the President had originally hoped, and people are frustrated. As the nation suffers the deaths of about 1,000 people per day, the public wants someone to blame. Dr. Fauci has made mistakes.