Pandemic politics: Fauci praised, shocked as soon as he announced his exit

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soon after Anthony Fauci announced He will step down in December, with White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein praising the doctor:

“I can’t think of a public servant who has saved so many lives for so long as Dr. Tony Fauci. And he’s a gem of a man.”

As soon as, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that Fauci was stepping down as chief medical adviser to President Biden, “likely to avoid questioning by the GOP-controlled house as to how he did everything wrong for so long!”

Duel stories were going on.

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Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Anthony Fauci.
(Getty Images)

Fauci was a constant presence on the airwaves, graced magazine covers and generally used his position as head of the infectious-disease institute to become perhaps the most famous—and controversial—physician on the planet. It was no surprise, then, that he did interviews with the New York Times and The Washington Post the night before making the announcement yesterday.

The comparison of the two stories is quite illuminating.

The Post basically nailed it, leading both to his prominence and his political battles:

“Anthony S. Fauci, Head of Country infectious disease The expert who achieved unprecedented fame while wielding political attacks as the face of the coronavirus pandemic response under two presidents, plans to step down in December after more than half a century of public service, announced Monday.

The next two paragraphs summarized his tenure, which “made him an advisor to seven presidents and put him on the front lines of every modern-day crisis, including AIDS, the 2001 anthrax scare, Ebola, Zika, and the coronavirus pandemic.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci debates Rand Paul.

Dr. Anthony Fauci debates Rand Paul.
(Getty Images)

And then it comes back to the criticism:

“While Fauci is one of the most cited researchers of all time and has been widely known in scientific circles for decades, it was the coronavirus pandemic that brought him worldwide fame – and ignited criticism from some Republican politicians and threats from the public. did.”

The newspaper said he was slammed in the early days of the AIDS crisis, “but the coronavirus pandemic ushered in a different era, with social media fueling the criticism and baseless conspiracy that presided over the federal government’s response to Fauci and others.” ..”

The 81-year-old official admitted mistakes, as did he and other government scientists early weeks of pandemic Americans did not require masks and failed to recognize that people without symptoms could spread the virus.

Those factors “caused the United States Surgeon General, CDC, and me to say, right now, you don’t really need to wear a mask and all of a sudden, it’s Tony Fauci becoming the mask man,” Fauci said. “Since I am the primary target of the far right, when the far right says you did it wrong, it’s not that everyone got it wrong — it’s that Tony Fauci got it wrong.”

That might be spin, but it’s Fauci’s spin.

In contrast, the first five paragraphs of the Times piece are unmatched praise:

After announcing that Fauci was going to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, the story goes:

“Few scientists have had such a great or long-lasting impact on public policy. Dr. Fauci joined the National Institutes of Health in 1968, when Lyndon Johnson was president; he was appointed director of its infectious diseases branch in 1984, when The AIDS epidemic demanded attention.

“Dr. Fauci has advised every president since Ronald Reagan – seven in total – and is adept at navigating the nexus of science and politics. Among his proudest achievements, he said, was a collaboration with President George W. Bush. His work in the global development program was combat HIV/AIDS, Known as PEPFAR, it has saved an estimated 21 million lives. Mr. Bush – whose father George Bush called Dr. Fauci ‘a hero’ during the 1988 presidential debates – awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.” In only the sixth paragraph, the Times says:

“But Dr. Fauci, who hit the headlines in 2020 when the coronavirus spread, could not escape the politicization of the Trump era. President Donald J. Trump openly toyed with the idea of ​​shooting him (though it would have been difficult because Dr. Fauci is not a politically appointed person. Conservatives saw Dr. Fauci as a symbol of the lockdown and the mask, which they vehemently opposed.”

So it was the “politicization of the Trump era” that created problems for Fauci, and the views of conservatives portray him as a victim of authority.

US President Donald Trump pulls off his protective face mask as he poses above the Truman Balcony of the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for COVID-19 treatment on October 5, 2020 in Washington.

US President Donald Trump pulls off his protective face mask as he poses above the Truman Balcony of the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for COVID-19 treatment on October 5, 2020 in Washington.
(Reuters/Erin Scott/File photo)

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The next paragraph states that Rand Paul and Fauci called each other liars.

The newspaper noted early criticism of Fauci by AIDS activists, but said: “Over time, he befriended many of those activists.”

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Then there was more praise.

A story links Fauci’s surprisingly long record of public service to his Political battle during the pandemic, The second makes those battles a secondary element and portrays it largely as a conservative target.

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Based on my finding of Fauci mentions in Twitter, a lot of angry posts outweighed fans’ support posts. Ted Cruz, for example, “plans to investigate his dishonesty, corruption, abuse of power, and many lies under oath. Never in the history of our nation has an arrogant bureaucrat destroyed more lives.” has done.”

I suspect Fauci was hoping for an easy exit, but the fight over his legacy has already begun.

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