Watch: Fauci Laughs Like Villain When Discussing Lab-Leak Theory, Proves That He's Learned Nothing


Dr. Anthony Fauci’s long-overdue ride into the sunset was supposed to happen in December. The man who once called himself science was supposed to saddle up, say goodbye, mount his N95-masked steed and then keep a low profile until House Republicans subpoenaed him. That’s how it was supposed to work.

There’s a good chance that, had he taken that route, he’d be considered a liberal superhero and a conservative mega-villain. Posterity would determine what role he played in the COVID pandemic response and Very Important™ books would be written about him on both sides.

But no. Anthony Fauci has to keep on being Anthony Fauci. That’s why the face of the U.S. government’s COVID response and former director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases is still trying to rewrite history so he looks even better. And lo and behold, he managed to make himself look worse.

In a PBS documentary filmed in 2021 and 2022, according to the New York Post,  and aired on Tuesday, we got to see the real face of unaccountable power.

When the lab-leak theory is discussed, Fauci laughs like a villain and says it’s impossible. He lashed out at his political opponents — in particular, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who he blamed for “insidiously” suggesting that gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology might have led to a COVID lab leak. And, despite increasing evidence mask mandates were useless, his biggest regret was that he didn’t make us mask up sooner.

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“American Masters: Dr. Tony Fauci” was a love-letter to America’s COVID scold. For those unfamiliar with the series, the public broadcaster puts the spotlight on great men and women, examining their lives. According to the public broadcaster’s website, recent “American Masters” episodes have dealt with the likes of Helen Keller, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, comedian Groucho Marx, talk show host Dick Cavett and author James Baldwin.

In other words, all secular saints in American society, especially those whose political ships list to the port side of things. And Dr. Fauci was no different. The problem with using your tax dollars that way, of course, is that history is still very much up in the air on whether or not Fauci’s term as de facto COVID czar went well. For all intents and purposes, the administration still pretends we’re in a pandemic emergency, after all. So it’s a bit different than, say, looking at the life’s work of individuals we know are, well, American masters.

So, clearly, the man’s reputation isn’t settled. And he didn’t help himself any with this clip, which will be what we remember about this PBS documentary 10 years from now. Unsurprisingly, it had to do with the lab-leak theory and gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

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“The microbe that we were working on, not only was not SARS-CoV-2, it would be molecularly impossible for them to turn it into SARS-CoV-2,” a laughing Fauci said.

“They were so different, it’s kind of like you have a Chevrolet and you got a motorcycle and you say, ‘I want to make that Chevrolet into the motorcycle.’

“No matter what you do to that Chevrolet, you’re not going to make it into a motorcycle. Like, what are you talking about?”

Of course, the whole point behind examining the gain-of-function research happening at the Wuhan Institute of Virology has nothing to do with the Chevrolet viruses that could never be turned into motorcycles, it was about the lack of transparency from the Chinese side. This also doesn’t look quite as good as it would have had the episode aired before Feb. 26, which was when The Wall Street Journal first reported that a Department of Energy report indicated their experts had come to the conclusion that COVID was likely the result of a laboratory leak.

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That means both the Department of Energy and the FBI believe the origin was most likely from a lab leak, in addition to other organs of the intelligence community. But to Czar Fauci, such talk was nonsense — and it was coming from extremists.

“You get attacked by right-wing crazy people,” Fauci said during the documentary, criticizing “hyper far-right conservative members of Congress” who attacked him. (It’s probably not too hard to guess who he’s talking about here, but names weren’t named.)

“People believe anything that somebody puts in front of them,” Fauci continued.

Oh. Like when Fauci said people didn’t have to mask? And then admitted he’d lied to preserve supplies of the masks? Or the time he went on CNN and told the viewing audience that he’d personally vaccinated Santa Claus?

On the first count, Fauci did explain his own change in messaging:

“Did you flip-flop? No,” he said. “You got additional information that made you change what you’re saying.”

His biggest regret? Not ordering masking and quarantining sooner.

“Maybe I should have done that,” he said. “Yeah, I was wrong.”

Except that, in January, an analysis led by an Oxford epidemiologist that The New York Times’ Bret Stephens called “[t]he most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses” showed that, in the words of the author, “There is just no evidence that they [masks] make any difference. Full stop.”

“These observations don’t come from just anywhere. Jefferson and 11 colleagues conducted the study for Cochrane, a British nonprofit that is widely considered the gold standard for its reviews of health care data,” Stephens wrote in a Feb. 21 piece.

“The conclusions were based on 78 randomized controlled trials, six of them during the Covid pandemic, with a total of 610,872 participants in multiple countries. And they track what has been widely observed in the United States: States with mask mandates fared no better against Covid than those without.”

Oh. And Fauci’s one great regret is he didn’t get those face-diapers on us sooner. This man has learned absolutely nothing from his experience with this virus and the political, social and economic fallout caused by policies he championed.

I confess to have only watched portions of the episode. Blame a busy week. Blame the fact I don’t want to acknowledge PBS exists any more than I already have to.

But mostly, I can blame the fact that sitting through an entire hagiography of Dr. Anthony Fauci would drive me to a place of existential loathing no man wants to visit. These are the smug musings of a man who tries to pretend he doesn’t just practice science, he is science.

Beginning in March of 2020 with the official declaration of a pandemic, American public health policy was run by a coterie of people who functioned as a technocratic Tammany Hall, and Fauci was Boss Tweed: What he said, went.

More or less, this is the man whose whims decided whether your child could go to school, whether you could go to work, whether you had to wear a mask:

And he laughs at the lab-leak theory. Laughs, laughs, laughs like a villain. What idiots.

The Department of Energy doesn’t think so. The FBI doesn’t think so.

You might not think so at first, but “American Masters” is certainly the right series to chronicle this man’s arrogance and thirst for power. Groucho Marx was a master of comedy. Brian Wilson, of songwriting. Anthony Fauci mastered pulling Washington’s strings for over two years.

It might not be “Duck Soup” or “Wouldn’t it Be Nice?,” but you have to admit that’s quite the accomplishment. If only the legacy it left weren’t so painful, you might be tempted to give the man a standing ovation.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture