Masks don’t work. Masks work.
COVID-19 doesn’t spread from asymptomatic carriers. COVID-19 does spread from asymptomatic carriers.
All schools need to be closed to prevent COVID transmission. Schools don’t have a significant impact on COVID transmission.
Despite appearing to be polar opposites, what do all of these statements have in common? According to the Washington Examiner, these are all opinions Dr. Anthony Fauci has held at some point in time. Even if he wasn’t leading the White House’s coronavirus response team, this level of flip-flopping would be a cause for concern.
However, the extent of Fauci’s power has caused real-life harm. The Examiner reported that Fauci resisted months of “President Trump and lawmakers demanding that schools must open and warning that the effects from lockdowns could be devastating.”
“Studies from the U.S. and abroad have already shown that keeping children from schools has had serious consequences, with suicides among youths rising in Wisconsin … and an overall increase of mental health-related emergency department visits for youths across the U.S.”
Now, Fauci is once again talking out of both sides of his mouth, this time on the issue of double-masking.
Breitbart reported that on Jan. 25, Fauci recommended that Americans wear multiple masks at once, “claiming that it only made ‘common sense’ to have another layer of protection.”
Typically, Fauci takes a few weeks or months before he revises a recommendation. This time, it only took until Thursday, when he revised his recommendation by claiming that there is “no data that indicates that [double-masking] is going to make a difference,” according to Breitbart.
I empathize with the experts who have maintained intellectual integrity during these troubled times. Science is incapable of delivering all the answers in one fell swoop. Common knowledge is inevitably going to change, and what is considered to be “understood” scientifically will have to be modified.
As long as the experts driving the response to COVID-19 are able to acknowledge their own faults as people and keep their minds from going crazy with power, Americans (and all people, really) would be more inclined to trust them.
Personally, I joined Moderna’s Phase 3 vaccine trial to help put a stop to the pandemic once and for all. It’s the type of engagement between experts and the community that is both healthy and productive.
Unfortunately, Fauci has not conducted himself like a responsible scientist.
His recommendations are more like proclamations and are framed as if they are an irrefutable truth. He lambasts anyone who criticizes or disagrees with him (even if he’s wrong), and shifts blame for public policy problems away from his own actions.
Even worse is that he rarely acknowledges when he was previously wrong. He merely shifts his recommendation and pretends that the previous one never existed.
If the country is going to come out of the pandemic on its feet, it needs public health officials who are reliable, objective and trustworthy. The evidence consistently indicates that Fauci may not be that person.
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