Dr. Anthony Fauci is on the defensive after confessing to having manipulated the American people.
The government scientist was slammed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) after he told The New York Times that he purposely moved the goalposts on establishing herd immunity to build compliance with vaccination efforts.
Fauci embarrassed with admission
Fauci told the paper that he revised the percentage of Americans who need to be vaccinated to 90% after polling convinced him that Americans were more receptive to vaccination and therefore “ready” for the truth.
He “acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goalposts,” The Times said, “partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.”
Fauci told the paper, “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.”
Rubio slams Fauci
While held up by the media as a trustworthy voice of authority, Fauci has won plenty of critics from those who say he has been wrong in the past and that much of his guidance is arbitrary.
The frank admission led critics to say that Fauci lied to the public for what he imagined to be the public’s own good, with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat comparing Fauci’s deception to Plato’s “noble lie.”
Rubio said that Fauci seems to think that the public needs to be cajoled into doing the right thing and that Fauci “lied” in March when he said that masks aren’t effective.
“Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March[.] Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity,” Rubio said. “It isn’t just him. 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’.”
Fauci grilled by CNN
In a CNN interview with Dana Bash on Sunday, Fauci was asked to respond to criticism that he wasn’t “straight with the American people.”
.@DanaBashCNN presses Dr. Fauci on his comments about “moving the goal posts” on herd immunity based on polling. “Why weren’t you straight with the American people about this to begin with?” she asks.
He deflects multiple times. She presses and he says it’s just a “guesstimate.” pic.twitter.com/kquQvlwZ8j
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) December 27, 2020
He said that “we have to be humble” and “these are pure estimates,” but admitted that he was basing his public statements on polling “a bit” to get people vaccinated. “I want to encourage the people of the United States and globally to get vaccinated and as many [people] as we possibly get vaccinated, we’ll get closer to herd immunity,” he said. “The bottom line is it’s a guesstimate. I gave a range.”