Unfortunately for college students, their college administrations have chosen to follow the oft-wrong public health advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci. Although much of his advice has been proven wrong and he himself has flip-flopped on the same advice, colleges follow the unelected bureaucrat anyway.
It is incredulous that colleges follow his lead despite his countless flip-flops on public health policies, terrible policy decisions, and astronomical earnings as a career federal bureaucrat.
Fauci flip-flopped on mask-wearing during the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, he said that cloth masks (which have since become the de-facto masks for the public) were not effective. He said to NBC in January 2020:
“Those kinds of masks that you just get in a store don’t keep the virus out. Probably the one thing they do the most is they prevent you from touching your nose and your face, which is even more important than trying to keep out the virus with a mask that actually lets the virus through.”
However, he stands by mask-wearing and is supportive of government mandates for people to wear masks for indoor activities. He said, in 2021, that people should “be wearing a mask all the time.”
The career bureaucrat also supports vaccination mandates, which are unconstitutional. He claimed that vaccinations are safe for children, while there are questions about whether children need it due to their lower susceptibility to the coronavirus’s deadlier effects. His public remarks also do not show any hesitation to overrule legitimate concerns from parents about the vaccine’s effects on children or whether it is necessary at all.
He also changed his mind on locking down schools during the pandemic. He has gone from pushing for schools to remain open, to following teachers’ unions to shut down schools, to his original position. If he was an infallible expert, he would have remained firm in his push to keep schools open. Data has proven that students succeed in normal, in-person class environments, while they struggle in an isolated, remote learning or computer-based environment, whether it is mental health, test scores, and social and emotional development.
In the 1980’s, Fauci made a huge mistake in handling the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. In 1983, he claimed that AIDS could infect children because “routine close contact” could lead to infection among a family. Only after being accused of homophobia did Fauci reverse his position and said, two months later, that it was “absolutely preposterous” that AIDS spreads through close contact. Time, and science, have shown that HIV/AIDS is spread through needle sharing and sexual relations, not normal social contact between people.
There is also Fauci’s two-faced argument about whether the coronavirus originated and leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan. In emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Fauci and other so-called experts debated whether the coronavirus leaked from a research laboratory in Wuhan, which was run by an arm of the Chinese Communist government. Yet publicly, Fauci denied that there was any possibility that a leak could have occurred. Despite more evidence demonstrating that the virus was man-made, and not present in nature, Fauci stood firm in his denial that the virus could have leaked (or did leak) from the Wuhan lab.
For example, several people have come forward and pointed out that the genetic structure of the virus is not present in bats in China and the specific genetic sequences are very likely to have been created by scientists. The very nature of the virus, which specifically targets crucial internal organs necessary for life such as the lungs and heart, suggests that the virus was weaponized by scientists. Previous coronavirus strains did not target these organs as lethally as the current coronavirus.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) of the National Institutes for Health (NIH), is one of the highest-paid government officials with his 2020 salary of $434,312. As a fourteen-year veteran bureaucrat (at least at NIH), Fauci out-earns the President of the United States ($400,000) and four-star generals ($282,000).
His retirement package is a hefty sum of $350,000 per year upon retirement, which is the highest in federal government history. If you add in cost-of-living increases, it would go over $1 million in payouts in his first three years of retirement. Adding to that, his wife Christine Grady, NIH’s chief bio-ethicist, earns $234,284 a year.
It also does not hurt that Fauci and his wife brought in $1.7 million in 2020 in income, royalties, travel perks and investment gains. Income and benefits totaled $868,812, outside royalties and travel perks totaled $113,298, and investment gains were $794,369.
These findings only came out after U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican, had a heated exchange with Fauci in a Senate hearing. Fauci called the senator a “moron,” which is not professionally appropriate for an unelected federal bureaucrat to say.
Imagine if a right-leaning bureaucrat, if you could find one, said that about a Democratic politician in a public hearing!
Yet colleges choose to ignore Fauci’s lack of credibility and follow his advice. It would be wiser to take his advice with healthy skepticism and not be in lockstep, but use common sense and pragmatism.