Discover more from The New Normal
Downfall: Anthony Fauci Resigns
The spectacular rise and fall of “America’s doctor”
After more than five decades in the federal government, Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, has announced his resignation as of December to pursue “the next chapter” of his career.
Fauci first came to prominence during HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, in which he advocated for widespread use of the drug AZT, a practice later discontinued due to the drug’s extreme toxicity and deadly side effects including anemia and bone marrow toxicity. Fauci also pushed for the widespread application of PCR testing for diagnostic purposes, which was strongly opposed by Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, inventor of PCR technology.
As Director of NIAID, Fauci amassed unprecedented power over the funding distributed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In the initial weeks of Covid, Fauci secretly fretted that the virus may have leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Jeremy Farrar—one of the leading voices behind lockdowns in the United Kingdom—recalled clandestinely discussing the possibility of a lab leak with Fauci and others.
During the response to Covid, Fauci was one of the “Trifecta” of three leading officials behind lockdowns in the United States. Fauci’s emails reveal that he’d been inspired to adopt lockdowns as national policy due to the conversations he’d had with New York Times reporter Donald McNeil, an early advocate of strict lockdowns in the Times.
McNeil had been very impressed with the Chinese Communist Party’s lockdown of Wuhan, China, and expressed great admiration for WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward, who’d instructed the world: “What China has demonstrated is, you have to do this.” Fauci had been in constant contact with McNeil, and as McNeil wrote to him regarding China’s lockdowns:
In China, we in the media tend to report the horrors and the lockdown and the government’s early lies... But the truth is that a lot of average Chinese behaved incredibly heroically in the face of the virus… Meanwhile, in America, people tend to act like selfish pigs interested only in saving themselves.
“You make some very good points Donald,” Fauci replied.
Fauci’s pro-lockdown sentiment ran contrary to the instincts of President Donald Trump. Thus, he planned for the White House to merely encourage lockdown rules which governors could then mandate. As former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator recalls in her book:
The White House would “encourage,” but the states could “recommend” or, if needed, “mandate.” In short, we were handing governors and their public health officials a template, a state-level permission slip they could use to enact a specific response that was appropriate for the people under their jurisdiction. The fact that the guidelines would be coming from a Republican White House gave political cover to any Republican governors skeptical of federal overreach.
When Trump announced “15 days to slow the spread,” encouraging those who were sick, elderly, or had underlying health conditions to stay home, Fauci encouraged Americans to read the “small print.” The “small print” encouraged governors to implement full lockdowns:
School operations can accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. Governors of states with evidence of community transmission should close schools in affected and surrounding areas. Governors should close schools in communities that are near areas of community transmission, even if those areas are in neighboring states. In addition, state and local officials should close schools where coronavirus has been identified in the population associated with the school. States and localities that close schools need to address childcare needs of critical responders, as well as the nutritional needs of children… In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.
These lockdowns were unprecedented in the western world and weren’t part of any democratic country’s pandemic plan prior to Xi Jinping’s lockdown of Wuhan, China. However, they did cause Americans to believe the virus was hundreds of times deadlier than it really was. For this, Fauci became “America’s doctor.”
Despite this, as late as May 2021, Fauci was still advising the government of India to “learn from China’s experience fighting Covid-19” and to implement a complete national lockdown for “a few weeks.” By that time, lockdowns had already killed more than 228,000 children in South Asia.
Fauci’s resignation letter does not discuss the response to Covid.
The New Normal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.