Tony Fauci is a 79-year-old epidemiology bureaucrat on the federal payroll. So the Kung Flu is his last big hurrah before he ascends to that great petri dish in the sky. “I’m caught up in the COVID-19 web, you know? That’s my world,” he says. “That’s my entire world.”
He’s also said, “I think you can trust me.” If you have to say that, maybe we can’t. He has adeptly positioned himself as the wise scientist in opposition to the boorish president. Yet his career isn’t perfect.
He’s let all the excitement of the game go to his head.
Strike One. He praised New York’s reaction to the virus. How in the world could he come up with that? The New York Times published a long and damning breakdown of how the overlapping and eternally feuding governments of the city and state of New York helped turn the already difficult challenge of managing COVID-19 in the country’s densest metropolitan area into the health and public-policy catastrophe we are enduring today.
Strike Two. He sucks up the attention. Career government bureaucrat Dr. Anthony Fauci went on a PR offensive this week, pushing back against officials in the White House who have tried to sideline him for repeatedly giving bad advice since the onset of the COVID-19 China coronavirus pandemic this year. Fauci did livestream interviews with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Georgetown University, a TV interview with PBS and he posed for a cover shoot for InStyle magazine that accompanies a softball interview with his old Beltway insider friend Norah O’Donnell. The 79-year-old Fauci told O’Donnell he has no plans to step down because, “with all due modesty, I think I’m pretty effective.”
Strike Three. He throws a baseball. Fauci will be throwing the first pitch on Opening Day for the Washington Nationals baseball team. Fauci, who has long advocated for lockdowns, social distancing, and has flip-flopped on the efficacy of mask-wearing, was quickly criticized for the upcoming event by some on social media. Moreover, Fauci said of a football season starting up again that it couldn’t be done “unless players are essentially in a bubble.” It’s unclear if he will be throwing the first pitch from inside a bubble. Some critics pointed to the fact that the President of the country historically throws the first pitch, suggesting the team may have dodged an offer to President Trump for Fauci.