On social media and elsewhere, the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci have been treated as gospel since the coronavirus pandemic first hit the U.S. early last year and the infectious diseases expert stepped into the spotlight to serve as a top adviser to the White House on the public health crisis.
But now, some outlets are reporting that there may be a conflict of interest involving Fauci’s daughter that could derail his long-standing reputation. Thus far, the mainstream media hasn’t picked up the story, however.
A conflict of interest?
While Fauci has been basking in the praise he’s received on Twitter over the last several months, his daughter Alison has been working as a software engineer for the Jack Dorsey-led social media company — in fact, she’s reportedly been there since 2014, as was first revealed by Heavy.com in a mid-2020 report.
Her employment there wouldn’t be an issue, except for the fact that Twitter has taken a particularly heavy-handed approach to managing “misinformation” about COVID-19. With Dr. Fauci on the frontlines of the information battle, his daughter’s ties to a company that has played gatekeeper for much the last year have some conservative outlets crying foul.
Twitter, for its part, first promised in March 2020 that it would be “expanding” its “safety rules to include content that could place people at a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19.”
Among the new rules: Twitter vowed to remove content that denies “expert guidance;” encourages “fake or ineffective treatments, preventions, and diagnostic techniques;” or is otherwise misleading with regard to recommendations from “experts and authorities.”
There’s no evidence Dr. Fauci’s daughter had a role in changing Twitter’s guidelines, but that hasn’t stopped many from speculating.
Fauci under fire
In the meantime, Dr. Fauci is also coming under fire for his recent criticism of states that are relaxing their COVID-19 protocols as vaccine distribution picks up and new cases of the disease drop off across the country.
According to The Hill, Fauci told CNN this week that while he understands that state leaders like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) want to get back to “normality,” America just isn’t ready for that yet, in his view.
“I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you’re only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines — particularly when we’re dealing with anywhere from 55 [thousand] to 70,000 infections per day in the United States,” he said.
But while Fauci continues to warn against complacency, business owners in Abbott’s Lone Star State are already grateful that the reins are finally being loosened.
“This past year has been so hard for everybody, for people like us and all the other small business owners,” one fourth-generation business owner told Houston’s KHOU 11. “This comes as a huge relief for people like us.”