Throughout 2020, the media narrative on Dr. Anthony Fauci has been hard to miss: unlike the lying and reckless Donald Trump, Fauci is an honest voice of reason who believes in science.
In comments to The New York Times, however, Fauci suggested that he has been deceiving the public to encourage compliance with public health orders — and now the Trump enemy is facing criticism, Axios reported.
Rubio slams Fauci
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) slammed Fauci for having “lied” about masks while treating the American public like they need to be “tricked” into doing what’s good for them.
“Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March,” Rubio tweeted Sunday. “Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity. It isn’t just him,” Rubio said. “Many in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know ‘what’s good for them’ so they need to be tricked into ‘doing the right thing,'” he added.
Rubio was responding to The Times article in which Fauci suggested that his public statements on herd immunity have been influenced by poll data.
Fauci said that he nudged up his projections after seeing that Americans were more open to getting a coronavirus shot.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” Fauci told The Times. “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.”
Fauci dismisses criticism
Fauci has made no secret of his concern about reluctance among many Americans to get vaccinated, once describing it as a “real problem,” according to CNBC.
As Rubio noted, Fauci said in March, in those distant days before mask mandates, that there is “no reason” for Americans “to be walking around with a mask.”
Those comments have often been mentioned by Fauci’s critics, including Trump, who threatened to fire Fauci shortly before Election Day after months of tensions. Fauci later said that health officials wanted to preserve medical supplies for healthcare workers.
Responding to the latest controversy, Fauci dismissed criticism, telling CNN that his projections were “estimates.”
“We have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know. These are pure estimates,” he said.