Dr. Anthony Fauci may be trying to distance himself from his COVID-19 recommendations as his retirement looms and the possibility of a Republican takeover of the House and Senate comes closer.
During a segment on Fox News’s “Your World” with Neil Cavuto, Fauci appeared to try to whitewash his own history.
“Looking back at some of those decisions including masks, you were first opposed to them then you embraced them, the severity of the epidemic itself and completely shutting down virtually the entire American economy, do you regret particularly the last one? The sweeping shutdown that some said made things worse?” Cavuto grilled the outgoing National Insititute of Allergy and Infections Diseases director.
“No, I don’t, Neil, and in fact, I think we need to make sure that your listeners understand I didn’t shut down anything,” he emphasized. “There was a lot of consideration among the White House task force that we were reaching a point where the hospitals such as in New York City and other places were being strained to the point of practically being overwhelmed. And when Dr. [Deborah] Birx and I came with the proposal that we take fifteen days to essentially get to the point where we slow if not shut some things down, not completely, then the record will show that we didn’t recommend shutting everything down.”
“We wanted to cause a pause to remember the terminology to ‘flatten the curve.'”
However, while he argued that the lockdowns weren’t his actual doing, he also said that they weren’t as bad as everyone is saying.
“In retrospect, doctor, do you regret that it went too far? Whatever your original intentions were, and it’s easy to be a Monday morning quarterback here, but that it went too far? That particularly for kids couldn’t go to school except remotely, that it’s forever damaged them?” Cavuto pressed.
“Well I don’t think it’s forever irreparably damaged anyone, but I think obviously- and if you go back and- people selectively, Neil, pull things out about me, I was also one of the people who said we’ve got to do everything we can to get the children back in school. Go back to some of the clips that you and I have on your own show when I’ve said that it’s very important that we protect the children from the collateral effects of keeping them out of school. Go to the record, I have said that so many times,” Fauci stressed.
While Fauci is maintaining his innocence in regards to the lockdowns and their effects on everything from mental health to the economy, it appears that he is playing a game of semantics. In 2020, he explained that yes, he recommended lockdowns but it was not something that he, personally, could simply make happen. Instead, the lead infectious disease doctor told the politicians who did have the power to implement lockdowns, and they were the ones who carried through with his recommendations.
“It was a decision to make a recommendation to the president. It wasn’t my decision that I could implement,” Fauci explained at the time during a virtual Q&A with students. “When it became clear that we had community spread in the country, with a few cases of community spread—this was way before there was a major explosion like we saw in the northeastern corridor driven by New York City metropolitan area—I recommended to the president that we shut the country down.”
And what of the claim that Fauci doesn’t believe that anyone has been “forever irreparably damaged”? Well, during the same session he explained that he knew the decision would have “serious economic consequences” which included many small businesses being forced to shut down, and even causing larger companies to downsize their operations.
“That was a very difficult decision because I knew it would have very serious economic consequences, which it did. But there was no way to stop the explosive spread that we knew would occur if we didn’t do that,” he said.
Those interested can watch the Q&A session below:
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