The long and masking road has come to an end — and not a moment too soon. Anthony Fauci announced at the National Institutes of Health that he would leave all of his government positions, apparently immediately. Fauci insists that he’s not retiring, however:
I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.
It has been the honor of a lifetime to have led the NIAID, an extraordinary institution, for so many years and through so many scientific and public health challenges. I am very proud of our many accomplishments. I have worked with — and learned from — countless talented and dedicated people in my own laboratory, at NIAID, at NIH and beyond. To them I express my abiding respect and gratitude.
Over the past 38 years as NIAID Director, I have had the enormous privilege of serving under and advising seven Presidents of the United States, beginning with President Ronald Reagan, on newly emerging and re-emerging infectious disease threats including HIV/AIDS, West Nile virus, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza, various bird influenza threats, Ebola and Zika, among others, and, of course, most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. I am particularly proud to have served as the Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden since the very first day of his administration.
Would that be the same administration that first declared that they had defeated the COVID-19 pandemic, reversed their Independence Day 2021 declaration of liberty from the virus, and then imposed unconstitutional mandates for months? That administration? How much did Fauci’s input drive those choices, especially when it came to intrusive private-sector mandates while variants inevitably turned mild and transmission universal?
And let’s not forget Fauci’s personal hypocrisies on pandemic impositions, either. In the span of just a couple of weeks this spring, Fauci declared the pandemic over as the White House Correspondents Dinner loomed, then pronounced it back on again, warned about transmission at Nerd Prom, and then … showed up to the parties anyway.
There have been so many of these Fauci reversals, hypocrisies, and authoritarian moments that it’s impossible to link them all here. However, we can all breathe easier knowing that Fauci will be advising the next generation of government epidemiologists on how to impose their will on the electorate:
While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring. After more than 50 years of government service, I plan to pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field. I want to use what I have learned as NIAID Director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats.
Joe Biden offered a statement that is almost perfectly revealing:
Following news Fauci will depart NIAID in December, President Biden praises Fauci as “a dedicated public servant, and a steady hand with wisdom and insight honed over decades.” Says Fauci has “touched all Americans’ lives with his work.” pic.twitter.com/iMAD6QhD97
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) August 22, 2022
Yes, Fauci certainly did “touch all Americans” with his zig-zag statements, lecturing exhortations, and contradictory and confusing prescriptions. His ego would have written checks that Fauci couldn’t cash, except that he got paid more than Biden or Trump did for his federal sinecure. Fauci created a lot of the damage done to the public-health bureaucracy in Washington through his political efforts and insistence on technocratic obedience.
Perhaps we all learned a lesson from Fauci in the end. It’s not the one he intended, but it’s still an important lesson — unelected technocrats shouldn’t be in position to “touch all Americans,” especially in the imposition of public policies that had little or no scientific basis in the first place.