Outline of Article:
I. Introduction: Dr. Fauci’s Cult of Personality
II. The AIDS Epidemic of the ‘80s
III. The Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009
IV. Dr. Fauci’s Changing Role Post-9/11
V. COVID-19 Pandemic (Ongoing)
"The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocation, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet in holding scientific discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."
- Dwight Eisenhower, 1961, Military-Industrial Complex Speech1
I. Introduction: Dr. Fauci’s Cult of Personality
This article is an attempt to examine Dr. Anthony Fauci: the man behind the mask, the man behind the cult of personality. Do you think the latter to be an exaggeration? Allow me to explain then.
Historian Jan Plamer identifies the following characteristics as constituting a cult of personality (also known as “charismatic authority”):
exists in a society firmly founded upon the doctrine that the government is subject to the will of the people
exists to convince the people of the government’s benevolence and authority
targets the entire population as a whole, not just individual sectors
uses mass media to spread its message
exists when the mass media is controlled enough to prevent the creation of “rival cults”2
Thomas Wright wrote, “As a result [of the cult of personality phenomenon], one is able to manipulate others based entirely on the influence of public personality…the cult of personality perspective focuses on the often shallow, external images that many public figures cultivate to create an idealized and heroic image.”3
Is Dr. Fauci truly deserving of all this fawning? This article seeks to examine this question chronologically, beginning with when he first accepted his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1984, a position he still holds today almost 40 years later.4
II. The AIDS Epidemic of the ‘80s
The first cases of HIV were discovered in the United States in 1981 and AIDS became an epidemic during Dr. Fauci’s reign over the NIAID. Fauci was one of the most prominent researchers regarding AIDS treatments in the early 1980s. He remarked in a 2020 interview with The Guardian:
“My career and my identity has really been defined by HIV.”5
His response to the epidemic , as well as the response of the federal government under President Ronald Reagan in general, was harshly criticized by HIV/AIDS activists.
Among these critical activists was Larry Kramer, the founder of Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Both organizations are renowned today for having changed public health policy during the AIDS epidemic and with raising awareness for HIV and AIDS-related diseases.6
Larry Kramer wrote the following letter to Fauci in 1988, frustrated with the millions of people infected and with seeming bureaucratic apathy:
“You are responsible for all government funded AIDS treatment research. In the name of right, you make decisions that cost the lives of others. I call the decisions you are making acts of murder…You can’t hide the fact that you are nothing but a despicable Reagan-era holdover and drug company mouthpiece.
“How long will it take you to start focusing on the immune system, how to boost it and how to prevent the opportunistic infections that are killing people with AIDS? Even you admit that ‘the immune response against HIV is extremely powerful and is clearly more effective than any of the therapeutic approaches currently available in controlling virus replication.’ Still, you give your blessing to clinical trials of highly profitable toxins that destroy PWAs’ (People with AIDS/HIV) already compromised immune systems.
“One thing that 10 years of the plague has taught is how easily people and organizations can be bought off. You are one of those people, Dr. Fauci. Project Inform is one of those organizations. During this time of crisis you are complacent; part of a government bureaucracy that values thriving pharmaceutical company entrepreneurism over the health of people with HIV.
“You are a pill-pushing pimp that cooperates with drug companies in forcing dangerous concoctions down the throats of a desperate community that is brainwashed into believing that taking a pill, any pill will help them. AIDS drugs are not sold to help people, they are sold to make a profit. The situation is so out of control that drug companies now create and sell drugs like Marinol, a synthetic derivative of the natural compound marijuana.
“The conflict of interest, so apparent between you and the pharmaceutical corporations, has now been embraced by those in the AIDS community who claim that they are leaders. In their present state, organizations like Project
Inform, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and ACT UP Golden Gate are all so
embroiled in conflict of interest that they must be viewed as enemies by
PWAs. Project Inform is still pushing AZT. San Francisco AIDS Foundation's
BETA reads like a promo piece for Glaxo. And many of today's so-called AIDS
activists are nothing more than public relations representatives whose job it
is to create a demand for the latest overpriced cure du jour. In the
meantime, grassroots efforts like the AIDS Cure Act are assailed by these
sellout AIDS organizations that have no desire to ever see a cure.
“Ten years of hope? F*** that. Try a decade of death and greed. Go back to
Washington you b******.”7
Why was Kramer so angry? Dr. Fauci, as the head of the NIH as well as the head of the federal government’s AIDS research program, was believed to be intentionally delaying the promoting of a well-known drug, Bactrim, and other sulfa drugs, which were known to safely and effectively prevent PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia), a type of pneumonia which was causing the most deaths in people with AIDS.
In 1987, AIDS activist Michael Callen, along with Dr. Barry Gingell, a medical advocate for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, asked Dr. Fauci to issue guidance for both doctors and civilians promoting the use of Bactrim as an effective PCP prophylaxis. They argued that the safety and efficacy data regarding Bactrim was clear— Bactrim had been used safely for years in immuno-compromised patients, and many frontline AIDS physicians were already using Bactrim with great success in preventing PCP. The NIH seemingly delayed in issuing guidance, believing there not to be enough evidence regarding this drug until two years later.8 Activist Richard Jefferys claims that Fauci went so far as to suggest that using prophylaxis for PCP was not beneficial, and may even be dangerous. 9 Many argue that this resulted in tens of thousands of otherwise preventable deaths.10
Sean Strub wrote for The Huffington Post that Dr. Fauci has since attempted to whitewash AIDS history and his role in it by: “fail[ing] to mention how skeptical he was of Bactrim as a preventive treatment, that he questioned the existing science, was unswayed by how frontline clinicians were treating people with AIDS and had suggested stopping a treatment that was already saving lives...These are the same officials who seem incapable of ever acknowledging or taking responsibility for mistakes they made -- mistakes that cost our community thousands of lives.”11
Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, a frontline AIDS physician, wrote in 2006: “Why, in the case of AIDS, was Bactrim, a known preventative measure against PCP, introduced so many years after a need for it had been recognized? To this must be added the question of why this neglect, the consequences of which can be measured in the tens of thousands of lives lost, has received almost no attention."12
Larry Kramer died in 2020, but before he died, he gave one last piercing criticism of American public health in general, making the following statement to Joe Biden during his presidential campaign at a town hall in 2019:
“AIDS is the gift that keeps on giving to Big Pharma and the Insurance Industry. Truvada and similar prophylactic treatments are NOT a cure for HIV. Pharmaceutical companies profit irrationally from HIV-positive Americans who depend on the medications forever. As president, how would you finance a CURE and scale back the avarice of pharmaceutical companies?”13
III. The Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009
In 2009, fears about a pandemic resulting from the H1N1 virus swept the globe. However, a 2010 study demonstrated that “the H1N1 swine flu was no more severe — and posed no greater risk of serious disease — than recent seasonal flu bugs.”14 Approximately the same amount of deaths worldwide resulted from H1N1 swine flu as are normally seen from the seasonal flu on an annual basis: 250,000-500,000.15
Official WHO estimates of confirmed swine flu deaths are actually extremely low: 18,449.16 However, the low estimate is because it is difficult to estimate the true amount of people who died, due to many people not being counted who were suspected to have died of the seasonal, not the swine flu. When this is taken into account, H1N1 swine flu is estimated to have caused approximately 284,500 deaths.
Another important factor to keep in mind for the sake of nuance is that the H1N1 swine flu was declared to affect a different population than the seasonal flu, and this was the main reason it scared people at the time. Whereas seasonal flu tends disproportionately to affect the very elderly, H1N1 swine flu caused deaths even among the young and healthy. However, it was later admitted that children were at no greater risk from swine flu than they were of the seasonal flu, and so the panic even for that was unwarranted.
CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson conducted an investigation in October of 2009 and revealed that swine flu cases were being severely overestimated. Cases were being diagnosed based on symptoms and risk factors alone. However, when CBS requested data from individual states, they noticed an alarming pattern: the “vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1…despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.”17
Attkisson’s investigation was immediately shut down, and CBS refused to air it.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with her:
Rappoport: In 2009, you spearheaded coverage of the so-called Swine Flu pandemic. You discovered that, in the summer of 2009, the Centers for Disease Control, ignoring their federal mandate, [secretly] stopped counting Swine Flu cases in America. Yet they continued to stir up fear about the “pandemic,” without having any real measure of its impact. Wasn’t that another investigation of yours that was shut down? Wasn’t there more to find out?”
Attkisson: The implications of the story were even worse than that. We discovered through our FOI efforts that before the CDC mysteriously stopped counting Swine Flu cases, they had learned that almost none of the cases they had counted as Swine Flu was, in fact, Swine Flu or any sort of flu at all! The interest in the story from one [CBS] executive was very enthusiastic. He said it was “the most original story” he’d seen on the whole Swine Flu epidemic. But others pushed to stop it [after it was published on the CBS News website] and, in the end, no [CBS television news] broadcast wanted to touch it. We aired numerous stories pumping up the idea of an epidemic, but not the one that would shed original, new light on all the hype. It was fair, accurate, legally approved and a heck of a story. With the CDC keeping the true Swine Flu stats secret, it meant that many in the public took and gave their children an experimental vaccine that may not have been necessary.
Robert Thompson, a professor of media and popular culture at Syracuse University, observed: “If as many people had swine flu as those that are covering swine flu then it would be a pandemic to reckon with.”18
If it was known that swine flu was neither as severe or as prevalent as publicly stated, why was all this fear being manufactured?
The answer unfortunately appears to be financial corruption. The WHO was accused of having faked a pandemic due to having a serious conflict of interest.19 Epidemiologist Wolfgang Wodarg, the chairman of PACE (The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe), has even called it “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the century”, saying that major drug corporations had intentionally put together a “campaign of panic” in order to pressure the WHO to declare a pandemic so as to sell vaccines. He argued that the WHO even changed the definition of pandemic at the time, and had removed the part which stipulated that there must be “enormous numbers of deaths and illnesses.” Indeed, The British Medical Journal backed up this claim in their article: “WHO Changed Definition of Pandemic.”20
Another investigation by The British Medical Journal revealed that some of the experts advising the WHO on their pandemic response profited immensely from the pandemic. They had financial ties with the same pharmaceutical companies who were producing the antiviral treatments and flu vaccines. One example given is of a WHO advisor who received regular payments from Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu.21
However, despite the lack of there being a “true pandemic”, Dr. Fauci advocated strongly for vaccination, with a vaccination campaign resulting in the administration of 46 million doses in the U.S. It was, as Sharyl Attkisson said in her interview, an “experimental vaccine which may not have been necessary.”22
IV. Dr. Fauci’s Changing Role Post-9/11
Following the tragic events of September 11, Dr. Fauci has been given an unusual role within the NIH to protect against bioterror threats, a role some describe as resembling “venture capitalism.” Prior to September 11th, the NIH mostly funded academic or basic research, not drug companies. After September 11th, the funding his agency received for biodefense-related threats increased from $42 million a year in 2001 to $1.7 billion in 2005. His role? To fund certain drug companies, betting on their success in drug or vaccine development. It raises the question which, as Bernard Wysocki, reporter for the Wall Street Journal posed: “whether the government and Dr. Fauci should be trying to influence what drugs and vaccines the marketplace produces.”
Many drug companies are naturally hesitant towards investing in research and development for vaccines because they are prone to tons of liability issues and lawsuits, and don’t provide a great return on investment financially. Dr. Fauci funds about $500-600 million in taxpayer money a year towards drug development; much of this amount goes directly to drug companies to help overcome that hesitation. In addition, with government backing, the drug companies are better able to request immunity, which all of the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers have done.23
With this new strategy, the NIH gets to select which few “anointed” companies they want to succeed, and which they choose to dismiss by not providing funding to. According to Dr. Fauci, he “draws on the vast scientific expertise within NIH to come up with products and companies worthy of funding.”
John Clerici, a lawyer and representative of BioPort, the company which manufacturers anthrax vaccines, said: "[The] NIH can and will do what it wants to ensure the game is being played by its rules, no matter what the rules have been in the past…This isn't exactly fair and open competition."
Richard Hollis, chief executive of Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology firm, said: "If the NIH is giving grants, they become the gatekeeper. They define what gets developed, and exclude all these other innovative ideas."24
Thus, pharmaceutical companies vie for Dr. Fauci’s blessing, and Fauci has enormous power with the fate of these companies in his hands. It would not be surprising to find out that a significant reason cheaper, off-patent drugs have been slandered and/or not researched is because they are not money-makers for the drug companies Fauci props up.
V. COVID-19 Pandemic (Ongoing)
Stanford professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya said of Dr. Fauci’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“When the pandemic hit, America needed someone to turn to for advice. The media and public naturally looked to Dr. Anthony Fauci—the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an esteemed laboratory immunologist and one of President Donald Trump’s chosen COVID advisors. Unfortunately, Dr. Fauci got major epidemiology and public health questions wrong. Reality and scientific studies have now caught up with him.”25
Dr. Fauci has been noted for his long list of “noble lies” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Slate magazine posed the following intriguing question regarding these lies:
“Do we want public health officials to report facts and uncertainties transparently? Or do we want them to shape information?”
It’s up to you to decide for yourself, but I will share the following attempts by Dr. Fauci to “shape information.”
Masks: Early on, Dr. Fauci said masks were not effective for reducing spread. In this following interview from 2019 (beginning around minute 23:10), he even describes mask-wearing as “paranoid":
In February 2020, Dr. Fauci wrote in an email:
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material.”26
A month later in March 2020, he said the following during an interview with 60 Minutes:
“The masks are important for someone who is infected to prevent them from infecting someone else. There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is…And often, there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask and people keep touching their face.”
The video this interview is from is below for context:
Within a few months, Dr. Fauci reversed course and said everyone should be wearing a mask, regardless of whether it is a cloth mask or an N95. He said he did so to prevent masks from being sold out, to preserve them for health care workers. That is understandable, but still a noble lie which, when exposed, makes it harder for the public to trust. In July 2020, Fauci said the following:
“We know that masks are really important. And we should be using them-- everyone.”
In addition, he said that leaders should be “as forceful as possible” in getting the public to wear masks.27
Origins of COVID-19: Though Dr. Fauci has repeatedly dismissed it as unscientific and baseless that COVID-19 originated in a lab, he received an email on January 31, 2020, suggesting that it was. The email he received, written by Dr. Kristian Andersen, said:
“Some of the features [of the virus] look engineered. Eddie, Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”
Dr. Fauci said in a May 2020 interview with National Geographic:
“Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
As time progresses, the evidence becomes more clear that this was likely a result of a lab leak.28 The question becomes: did he deliberately ignore evidence, or was it a result of incompetence? And why was there censorship directed against anyone who suggested it was a lab leak?29
Gain-of-function research: Dr. Fauci has repeatedly and definitively stated throughout the pandemic that the NIH did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan. Gain-of-function research is defined as “research aimed at increasing the virulence and lethality of pathogens and viruses.”30 In May 2020, he said the following before the Senate:
“However, I will repeat again — the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded gain-of-function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
He still denies it despite a letter written in October 2021 by the NIH’s principal deputy director, Lawrence Tabak, stating that EcoHealth Alliance, led by Peter Daszak, violated the rules of the grant stipulated by the NIH during their bat coronavirus research, and that the bats unintentionally became sicker through the lab-created virus. It is important to note that though the NIH recognizes that the bats became sicker with the lab-created virus, they say it is impossible for this virus to have become COVID-19. The letter is copied below.
Multiple staff members at the NIH expressed their concern over the “chimeric” work being done at the Wuhan Institute. Two of them wrote to EcoHealth Alliance noting that the work “appear[s] to involve research covered under the [gain-of-function] pause.” However, it seems this concern was ignored, and, instead, EcoHealth Alliance created language that allowed them to escape oversight on these experiments, and the NIH knew yet turned a blind eye to it.The Intercept reported on emails which demonstrated that NIH officials helped EcoHealth Alliance evade these gain-of-function restrictions.31
The last notable thing regarding gain-of-function research which I will detail here is that until recently, the NIH had a section on their website discussing gain-of-function research, defining it as:
"a type of research that modifies a biological agent so that it confers new or enhanced activity to that agent."32
On October 20, 2021, the NIH removed that section from their website, and replaced it with a section entitled "ePPP (Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogen) Research", which it defines as:
"research that may be reasonably anticipated to create, transfer or use potential pandemic pathogens resulting from the enhancement of a pathogen’s transmissibility and/or virulence in humans."33
Though it hasn't been definitively proven yet, the timing of it causes it to appear as though they did so as to bolster Dr. Fauci's claim that he never lied about denying funding gain-of-function research.
Herd immunity: Dr. Fauci originally said only 60% of the population would be required to be immunized in order to achieve herd immunity.34 He now claims it’s 85%. He himself says he changed the percentage not based on new studies, but based on what he thinks he can convince the population to do:
”When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, “I can nudge this up a bit,” so I went to 80, 85.”35
Natural immunity: Even though more than 1/3 of Americans have natural immunity to COVID-19, and despite strong evidence suggesting that natural immunity provides better and longer protection than vaccination, Dr. Fauci continues to push for vaccine mandates.36 37 An Israeli study found that those who were vaccinated were 27x more likely to be infected than unvaccinated who had already recovered from a previous infection.38 Natural immunity has since time immemorial been understood to be a strong protection against reinfection for a disease. To fire doctors and nurses, the majority of whom have likely already been exposed to COVID-19 due to their heroic work of working during the height of the pandemic, simply because they refuse to be vaccinated is extremely unreasonable. No regard is given to their natural immunity and it is senseless to fire much-needed workers during a pandemic when hospitals are said to be at their limit.
Targeted approach: Dr. Fauci has consistently ignored that there are different risks for different sectors of the population, instead favoring total vaccination for all, regardless of their relative risks to COVID-19. Many public health scientists have advocated for targeted approaches so as to better protect the vulnerable populations.39
Collateral health damage from lockdowns: Dr. Fauci failed to consider the collateral health damage from lockdowns, including the impact on cancer detection and treatment, mental health, and diabetes care.40 Americans will suffer from these effects for many years to come.
Drug overdose: 100,000 overdoses were recorded from April 2020 to April 2021, the highest number ever. The previous year recorded 78,000 deaths.41
Domestic abuse: CNN reported that domestic violence increased 8.1% as a result of lockdowns.45
Depression: A JAMA study found that depression symptoms were noted three times more during the lockdowns.46
…and all these are just to name a few.
Dr. Fauci is one of the most cited and respected scientists in the world, but it wasn’t until 2020 that a cult of personality really blew up around him. This article sought to address the question of whether this hero worship is truly warranted. Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of the PCR test now used for COVID-19, didn’t seem to think so. He spoke quite harshly of Dr. Fauci’s response to AIDS, saying:
“Tony Fauci does not mind going on television in front of the people who pay his salary and lie directly into the camera.”
Mullis has since died (2019) and so is unable to provide his comments on the COVID-19 response, but his widow said that “[Mullis] was disappointed in science in general because it was all about money and grants and scaring people and [Mullis] was totally about the truth.”47
There are many similarities to be drawn between how the AIDS epidemic, the 2009 swine flu pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic were all managed. Criticisms made about the former still apply today. Dr. Fauci may not be a malevolent individual (although the repeated funding of cruel and torturous animal experiments may indicate otherwise48), but he certainly believes in the use of noble lies, implying that he believes the public to not be able to handle the truth, and that he thinks the scientific elite know better.49
Further, throughout his history as the director of the NIAID, we have seen the ignoring of cheap and generic drugs in favor of expensive and profitable ones (even at the cost of great life), the aggressive pushing of vaccines and preference of vaccines to any other treatment, and a pattern of fear-mongering. His funding and support has fattened the pocket of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of public health.
Is he truly deserving of the hero-worship?
Up to you to decide.
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“Whitewashing AIDS History.” See note 9.
“Whitewashing AIDS History.” See note 9.
“Whitewashing AIDS History.” See note 9.
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“CDC estimate of global H1N1 pandemic deaths: 284,000.” See note 15.
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“How Much Herd Immunity Is Enough?” See note 34.
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“Domestic violence incidents rose in the US during pandemic lockdowns, analysis finds.“ CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/01/us/domestic-violence-pandemic-trnd/index.html.
“Depression Symptoms 3 Times Higher During COVID-19 Lockdown.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/depression-symptoms-3-times-higher-during-covid-19-lockdown.
“Widow of scientist who invented PCR test hits out at Covid denier conspiracists who claim he was murdered by Fauci.” The Sun. https://www.the-sun.com/news/3865900/pcr-covid-test-kary-mullis-fauci-theory/.
“Experimenters Fed Puppies’ Heads to Infected Flies, But That’s Not All Fauci’s NIH Funded.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. https://www.peta.org/blog/fauci-niaid-puppies-animal-testing/.
“Fauci-Led Agency Funded Abusive Animal Experiments Promising To Kill Dozens Of Beagles.” The Daily Caller. https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/fauci-led-agency-funded-abusive-animal-experiments-promising-to-kill-dozens-of-beagles/ar-AAMXpne.