Dr. Anthony Fauci, arguably the face of federal efforts to fight the coronavirus, took to the podium last night at the White House Task Force press conference to clear some things up. It seems that over the past few weeks the media has been dissecting every word he and President Trump say like a grad student studying “Ulysses,” looking for discrepancies in the statements.
Yesterday, Fauci had enough and basically said much ado was being made about nothing. For CBS reporter Paula Reid, the good doctor’s explanation just didn’t sit right.
After Dr. Fauci clarifies his remarks from Sunday about how earlier mitigation efforts would have saved lives, @PaulaReidCBS asks if he's doing so "voluntarily."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 13, 2020
She asked Fauci if he was “doing this voluntarily” or if the president had directed him to make his statement. Now, Fauci was born and raised in Bensonhurt, Brooklyn. Bensonhurst is known for a few things: the mafia, Saturday Night Fever, and, shall we say, a very colorful, straightforward, and abrupt way of speaking.
It is not surprising that Fauci took offense at the question, saying, “Everything I do is voluntarily, please, don’t even imply that.” This is close to the worst insult you can level at a kid from Bensonhurst, that he isn’t his own man, that he just carries water for the boss. This notion that Trump is forcing Fauci and others to lie also just doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense.
How would Trump go about this? What is his leverage? Does he say to Fauci, “Tell them what I want you to or you’re off the task force?” So what? Why would Fauci put a storied career and legacy at risk to lie for a president when he will get the blameif his recommendations don’t work? Oh, and by the way, his recommendations are working, and have been supported by the president at every turn.
Throughout the pandemic, which may be the most pathetic and saddest hour the leftist media has had in the Trump presidency — and believe me, that’s a competitive category — the focus has been on dragging Trump, not saving lives. This absurd question directed at Fauci just puts a fine point on it. With absolutely no evidence, Reid suggests that Fauci is being compelled to make false statements. Why?
Did she really believe that in a moment of shame and self realization, Fauci was going to say, “No, he’s making me say this, it’s all lies, please forgive me”? No. The purpose of this question, and far too many in these press conferences, was not to elicit important information Americans need. It was to plant a seed in Americans’ minds that even if the administration’s approach to the virus has been successful, they are still a bunch of mendacious liars.
Good on Fauci for calling this nonsense out. Serious people on the federal, state, and local level are fighting every day to defeat this virus. They and the American people deserve a news media taking the issue equally seriously, not a hit squad more worried about politics than defeating the pandemic.
For now, all we can do is read between the lines of the anti-Trump media. The more absurd their accusations become, such as suggesting that Anthony Fauci is basically a hostage, the better you know the Wuhan virus response is going.
In the absence of bad news, new and creative ways to attack Trump and his team will bloom. But the American people aren’t stupid, they see it, and they know Fauci is not being strong-armed into lying to them.