that of Dr Anthony Fauci e-mails, published following a Freedom of Information Act request, are a Rorschach test. To Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), They revealed that the country’s top infectious expert – and his frequent training partner – is a liar. “I told you,” Paul mentionned. “I can’t wait to see the media try to get the Fauci FOIA emails going.”
At the right time, CNN tweeted, “Thousands of emails to and from Dr. Fauci reveal the weight that has come from his role as a rare source of outspoken honesty on the Trump administration’s COVID-19 task force.” This is not how most curators view e-mail exchanges on masks or theories on origins of the virus. Where Liberals see a beleaguered official, Tories see emails as more equivocal private advice than Fauci’s public statements, when he is not diametrically opposed.
How did Fauci go from one of last year’s rare unifying figures to just another political punching bag? Part of it wasn’t his fault. The polarization predated him. Mandatory masking and forced business closures were always going to be controversial policies. And it was precisely the people most skeptical of Donald Trump who were going to turn to Fauci, worshiping him as a secular saint until he was a devil on the other side.
But Fauci seemed to enjoy his fame, even as the pandemic took its toll on him, and over time embraced his role as the long-suffering straight man in Trump’s bleach-drinking routine. It shouldn’t have been easy working for Trump and was clearly angered by the restrictions that ruined the economic boom that gave him the best chance of being re-elected. Yet Fauci’s media approach would inevitably alienate millions of Trump supporters, whose cooperation on things like the vaccine was needed.
Fauci also dispensed advice like a parent who doesn’t tell the whole story to a child, but rather a simplified version to motivate correct behavior – an effective strategy until the holes in the story become apparent. Information changes, but Fauci relied on people who viewed science as wisdom passed down from authority figures rather than a process of discovery. “The typical mask you buy at the drugstore is not really effective in preventing the virus,” he wrote privately in February 2020. Months later, he would attribute his public insistence to the onset of the pandemic. the same idea to worrying PPE shortages, not to his own change of mind.
For many conservatives, the American doctor quickly became just another bureaucrat who could neither shoot nor speak frankly.