Archive for the ‘Fauci, Dr. Anthony’ Category

Did Fauci disclose his conflicts of interest to Trump?

June 21, 2021

Yesterday, we posted: A scientist shreds Fauci’s “attacking me is attacking science” canard.

Following up on that theme — that science and the scientific method are inherently good, but that science can be compromised by “bad actors”….

I haven’t heard or seen the headlined question raised by anybody on media.

Specifically, as it relates to the highly plausible (i.e. likely) lab-leak source of the virus:

> Did Fauci brief Trump on gain-of-function research, it’s ethical and safety issues, and Obama’s EO putting a moratorium on U.S. based research and research funding?

> Did Fauci indicate to Trump that he (Fauci) was on record as a strong advocate for gain-of function research?

> Did Fauci tell Trump that gain-of-function research was being done in the Wuhan lab … specifically on coronaviruses?

> Did Fauci admit to Trump that research grants approved by him (Fauci) may have been channeled to the Wuhan lab via an intermediary which was known to support gain-of-function research?

> Did Fauci warm Trump that if any of the above became public, the U.S. might be held partially culpable if the Wuhan lab was the source of the virus?

==============

It’s easy to conclude that the answers to all 5 questions are NO.

If the answers to any or all of the questions was YES, then…

> Trump would have been unlikely to have picked Fauci to lead the covid task force

> Trump would not have jumped on the lab-leak hypothesis so quickly and so forcefully.

Knowing what is now being discovered (in writing and on video) about Fauci’s conflicts of interest, wouldn’t you think that Fauci — the noble scientist — would have self-disqualified?

Hmmm

 

A scientist shreds Fauci’s “attacking me is attacking science” canard…

June 17, 2021

The weekend WSJ published an interview with Filippa Lentzos — a social scientist who studies biological threats.

A  Scientist Who Said No to Covid Groupthink

According to the WSJ, Ms. Lentzos was early-on questioning the source of the coronavirus, and frustrated by the “premature enforced consensus” that was dismissive of the lab-leak possibility.

Lentzos asserts that she and her compatriots were inquisitive “not because we are conspiracy theorists  but because, as scientists, this is our profession.”

=============

Now Ms. Lentzos observes that the lab-leak scenario has gained traction … and, is emerging as a front-runner.

“As time goes on, there has been more and more circumstantial evidence for the lab-leak theory that’s come out, and less and less from the natural-spillover theory.”

Why did the realization take so long?

Lentzos says that “the most significant problem came from the scientific community.”

Some of the scientists in this area very quickly closed ranks.

American liberals — including many scientists — conflated open-mindedness about the question with support for Mr. Trump.

But, partisanship wasn’t their only motive.

“Like most things in life, there are power plays.

There are agendas that are part of the scientific community. Just like any other community, there are strong vested interests.

A lab mistake that killed millions would be bad for reputations.

Some researchers have taken part in gain-of-function research, which can make viruses deadlier or easier to transmit.

Who would permit, much less fund, such research if it proved so catastrophic?

There were people that did not talk about this, because they feared for their careers. They feared for their grants.”

So, The lab-leak theory began to be treated “like an attack on science, the sciences.

The teaching point…

Lentzos counsels against idealizing scientists and warns that “a scientific consensus isn’t always true … and peer review is sometimes peer pressure.”

Accordingly, she advises a constructive skepticism:

Sees science and scientific activity, and how the community works, not as an inner sacred sanctum that’s devoid of any conflicts of interests, or agendas … but seeing science as a social activity, where there are good players and bad players.

===========

My take:

Science and the scientific method are inherently good … but they are sometimes compromised by “bad actors”, including even well-intentioned scientists who fall victim to personal biases and agendas; shoddy work and false prophets; and ego-driven self-promotion.

So, Dr. Fauci, criticizing your behavior and performance is not an attack on science.

Period.

==============

P.S. The WSJ’s entire interview with Ms. Lentos is worth reading …  “A  Scientist Who Said No to Covid Groupthink

Fauci: “Doing gain-of-function research was worth the risk of a pandemic.”

June 3, 2021

Rhetorical question: Why isn’t this getting more media coverage?
============

According to The Weekend Australian (channeled thru Townhall)….

In October 2012, Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote   in the Journal of the  American Society for Microbiology  that “continuing gain-of-function research (on coronaviruses) is worth the risk of a pandemic”.

Say, what?

==============

To put the quote in context…

> Gain-of-function (GOF) research modifies viruses to make them more transmissible and more dangerous (i.e. lethal) to humans.

> Ostensibly, the research is (was) done to understand how the mutations can occur … and to fast-start development of preventive therapeutics and specific antidotes should they occur.

> Prior to 2014, GOF research was conducted in the U.S. in both military and private (e.g. university) laboratories.

> At the time, there were broadening ethical concerns that such research could be weaponized … and posed a public health risk (i.e. accidental release of the virus)

> In 2014, President Obama — nudged by  a handful of reported laboratory “accidents” — issued an executive order banning GOF research in the U.S. and the funding of such research.

> But, of course, Obama’s EO had no force to stop GOF research outside the U.S., say, in China.

=================

OK, that sets the stage…

Again, Fauci is on record as a proponent of GOF research:

In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?

Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?

Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.  Source

That was in 2012

In 2014, Obama issued his EO banning U.S. involvement in GOF research.

==============

Subsequent to the 2014 EO, the NIH (i.e. Fauci) continued to fund internationally-based scientific research.

No problem with that, except …

Despite Fauci’s initial denials and obfuscations, it is becoming increasing evidentially apparent that some of the Fauci-approved NIH grants made their way to the Wuhan labs and — given the fungibility of research grants — likely supported their GOF research.

To be fair: (1) The potentially problematic Wuhan grant amounts were small — reported to be under $1 million (2) the grants were funneled through an intermediary not-for-profit (the EcoHealth Alliance), and (3) arguably, there were implied restrictions on the grants’ usage and a presumption that grantees would operate in compliance.

Nonetheless, (1) the grants were made under Fauci’s signature, (2)  they were channeled to Wuhan and (3) Wuhan was doing GOF research.

Said differently, Fauci has deep self-interest in positioning the pandemic’s source as a “natural evolutionary species-jump (from bats)” … and pooh-poohing the possibility that the source was a predictable lab-leak (with his fingerprints on it).

Otherwise, Fauci and the NIH have complicity in triggering the coronavirus.

Hmm.

=============

So, the question that I’d like somebody to ask:

“Dr. Fauci, given a covid fatality rate of more than a million deaths globally — and over  600,000 deaths in the U.S. — do you stand by your 2012 position that gain-of-function research on coronaviruses was  worth the risk of a pandemic?”

My hunch: His views have “evolved”…

Fauci: “Doing gain-of-function research was worth the risk of a pandemic.”

June 1, 2021

Rhetorical question: Why isn’t this getting more media coverage?
============

According to The Weekend Australian (channeled thru Townhall)….

In October 2012, Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote   in the Journal of the  American Society for Microbiology  that “continuing gain-of-function research (on coronaviruses) is worth the risk of a pandemic”.

Say, what?

==============

To put the quote in context…

> Gain-of-function (GOF) research modifies viruses to make them more transmissible and more dangerous (i.e. lethal) to humans.

> Ostensibly, the research is (was) done to understand how the mutations can occur … and to fast-start development of preventive therapeutics and specific antidotes should they occur.

> Prior to 2014, GOF research was conducted in the U.S. in both military and private (e.g. university) laboratories.

> At the time, there were broadening ethical concerns that such research could be weaponized … and posed a public health risk (i.e. accidental release of the virus)

> In 2014, President Obama — nudged by  a handful of reported laboratory “accidents” — issued an executive order banning GOF research in the U.S. and the funding of such research.

> But, of course, Obama’s EO had no force to stop GOF research outside the U.S., say, in China.

=================

OK, that sets the stage…

Again, Fauci is on record as a proponent of GOF research:

In an unlikely but conceivable turn of events, what if that scientist becomes infected with the virus, which leads to an outbreak and ultimately triggers a pandemic?

Many ask reasonable questions: given the possibility of such a scenario – however remote – should the initial experiments have been performed and/or published in the first place, and what were the processes involved in this decision?

Scientists working in this field might say – as indeed I have said – that the benefits of such experiments and the resulting knowledge outweigh the risks.  Source

That was in 2012

In 2014, Obama issued his EO banning U.S. involvement in GOF research.

==============

Subsequent to the 2014 EO, the NIH (i.e. Fauci) continued to fund internationally-based scientific research.

No problem with that, except …

Despite Fauci’s initial denials and obfuscations, it is becoming increasing evidentially apparent that some of the Fauci-approved NIH grants made their way to the Wuhan labs and — given the fungibility of research grants — likely supported their GOF research.

To be fair: (1) The potentially problematic Wuhan grant amounts were small — reported to be under $1 million (2) the grants were funneled through an intermediary not-for-profit (the EcoHealth Alliance), and (3) arguably, there were implied restrictions on the grants’ usage and a presumption that grantees would operate in compliance.

Nonetheless, (1) the grants were made under Fauci’s signature, (2)  they were channeled to Wuhan and (3) Wuhan was doing GOF research.

Said differently, Fauci has deep self-interest in positioning the pandemic’s source as a “natural evolutionary species-jump (from bats)” … and pooh-poohing the possibility that the source was a predictable lab-leak (with his fingerprints on it).

Otherwise, Fauci and the NIH have complicity in triggering the coronavirus.

Hmm.

=============

So, the question that I’d like somebody to ask:

“Dr. Fauci, given a covid fatality rate of more than a million deaths globally — and over  600,000 deaths in the U.S. — do you stand by your 2012 position that gain-of-function research on coronaviruses was  worth the risk of a pandemic?”

My hunch: His views have “evolved”…

Fauci: Slim majority of NIH employees have been vaxed…

May 17, 2021

Finally, an answer to a question that I’ve been asking.
============

Frankly, when it comes to vaccine efficacy & safety, I don’t find testimonials from politcos, Hollywood celebs or sports stars to be very compelling.

The relevant info, in my opinion, comes from doctors and subject matter scientists: Have they (and their immediate family) been vaccinated? If yes, which brand of vaccine?

I’ve been frustrated getting credible numbers re: healthcare professionals. Best guess: 60% overall, 70% front line, 80% doctors.

See Why have so few healthcare workers been vaccinated?

And, there has been a data void re: employees at NIH or the CDC.

That is until now.

Last week, during a hearing, Sen. Burr asked Fauci and Wolensky a direct question: How many employees in your agencies have been vaccinated?

I wouldn’t think that there would be any vax-hesitants walking those halls…. so, I’d expect the number to be near 100%.

WRONG!

When asked, Fauci stammered, then said “a little more than half”.

What?

That’s barely about the national average (which includes the media- labeled  “Neanterthal Trump supporters”)

Wolensky ducked the question: ‘There’s no Federal requirement for us to collect and report those numbers”.

Anybody remember Gore’s “There’s no controlling authority” defense for taking foreign campaign contributions?

English translation: “An embarrassingly low number.”

Here’s the 1-minute clip of the Q&A exchange.

image

For sure, the clip won’t find it’s way into any vax- inspirational PSAs.

But, it’s gotta give pause to people yet to be vaccinated if the vaccine is being shunned by a statistically significant number scientists who are working on the vaccines and constantly pouring over the data re: efficacy and safety.

Do they know something that they’re not telling us?

Hmm…

==============

P.S. I’m fully vaccinated (Moderna) … and don’t regret my decision.  Now, I’m rooting for high mRNA vaccination rates, but not holding my breath.

Studies: Fauci’s endorsement hardens net vaccine hesitancy…

April 21, 2021

Time to put him out to pasture?
=============

Dr. Fauci — the nation’s foremost political-scientist — continues to be ubiquitous on TV, pitching that getting vaccinated is a “no brainer” and that, to paraphrase, all Republicans are morons.

Loyal readers know that I’m not a big fan of Dr. Anthony Fauci —  Biden’s chief political-scientist — who is always certain (but often wrong), occasionally evidence-based (except when the data goes against him), straight-shooting (depending on the political winds).

For full chapter, verse and sources re: Fauci’s many mis-steps, see

Here are a couple of more logs to throw on my Fauci fire.

==============

I’ve been doing a doing a deep dive into vaccine hesitancy — why some people are reluctant to take the Covid vaccines — and how the resistance might be softened.

Note: For the moment, I’ll skip over the thornier question: Should the resistance be softened? I’ll have more on that subject in future posts.

I came across the COVID States Project Report #36: Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine communication strategies.

Note: The 50-state COVID-19 project is “a multi-university group of researchers with expertise in computational social science, network science, public opinion polling, epidemiology, public health, communication, and political science.”

Here’s what caught my eye in the report

The researchers queried study participants on whether public endorsements (i.e. televised vaccinations or public service messaging) by an array of personalities would make the subjects more or less likely to get vaccinated.

For example, predictably, an endorsement by Trump made Democrats less likely to get vaccinated and an endorsement by Obama (or Biden) made Republicans less likely.

Less predictably, a vaccine endorsement by Dr. Fauci resulted in only small reductions in vaccine resistance among Democrats, but increased and  strengthened vaccine resistance among Republicans.

According to the researchers, the Fauci finding “contrasts with unspecified scientists and respondents’ personal physicians, whose endorsement reduce vaccine resistance across the board.”

So, the researchers conclude that Fauci has taken on a partisan association that has substantially reduced his credibility and effectiveness as a messenger.

=============

That finding brought to mind an interview with Frank Luntz who presented some focus group video footage re: vaccine hesitancy among Republicans.

Disclosure: The interview was on Fox; Luntz leans right but usually exhibits anti-Trump tendencies.

The headline from the focus group:

image

Click to view a worthwhile 1-minute video clip that brings the comments to life:

image

Luntz’s conclusion: Fauci — “who keeps changing his mind and moving the goalposts” — has no credibility whatsoever among Republicans … if you want reluctant people to get vaccinated, the message must be delivered by their personal physicians.

=============

Bottom line:

Both the impartial 50 States Project and the Luntz focus group reach the same fundamental conclusions:

>  If you want to overcome vaccine hesitancy

>  And, if Republicans are, in fact, the problem (i.e. more reluctant to get vaccinated than Democrats)

> Then one of the last people you want pitching the merits of getting vaccinated is Fauci

> Especially if he’s dishing inflammatory, condescending messages like “Getting vaccinated is a no-brainer”.

To summarize more bluntly: Yes – it’s time to put Fauci out to pasture.

Amen.

Gimme a break ! Now there’s a hero book for kids…

March 24, 2021

How many times can a media-proclaimed “leading expert” miss the mark and legitimately hold the title “America’s Doctor”?
=============

Loyal readers know that I’m not a Fauci fan … and haven’t been for a long time … ever since he morphed from “scientist” to “political-scientist” … and hit the cable news circuit, spreading oft-erroneous, constantly “evolving” psuedo-science.

Image

Now that a children’s book is being launched to enshrine Fauci, I think it’s appropriate to flashback on the good doctor’s most significant mis-steps:

  • He originally said that the COVID risk to Americans was miniscule
  • He opposed the Chinese travel ban as unnecessary or, at least, premature
  • He illogically told people not to wear masks since they won’t help and would deplete PPE stockpiles.  Only the latter was true.
  • He grossly misled Congress regarding the COVID death rate (by an order of magnitude!), conflating the conflation of the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) and Case Fatality Rate (CFR).  The CFR (of which Fauci was likely referring) is about 10 times the IFR. Source
  • He championed the “15 days to stop the spread” … using the widely discredited projection of  2 million “do nothing” deaths to seal the deal with Trump. (Note: the 15 day program has had an anniversary and still has a head of steam).
  • He lauded Cuomo’s “Gold Standard” response to COVID … despite highest death count (over 35,000), 2nd highest fatality rate (NJ is #1), wasted resources (think: a hospital ship, field hospitals and ventilators), an economic disaster in NYC and, oh yeah, a crushing 2nd wave of COVIID.
  • He admitted to boosting his estimate of the herd immunity threshold “partly based on new science and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.” Source
  • He led the charge to close the schools (but now concedes to closing the bars, but opening the schools)
  • And, back in March, 2020 he proclaimed that “it will take a year or more to develop a Coronavirus vaccine.”

Well, Dr. Leading Expert, the Pfizer vaccine was approved on December 11, 2020 and the 100 millionth dose was administered on March 12, 2021 … and the country will be vaccinated way before Fauci told Americans that the 1st vaccine would be available … thanks to Trump’s Operation Warp Speed!

Perhaps some day, Fauci will rush to CNN to say “Trump was right, I was wrong.”

I won’t hold my breath …

==============

P.S. Because of Fauci’s pessimism re: the speed of vaccine development, many (most? all but West Virginia?) procrastinated readying their vaccination distribution networks … control of which they (the states) demanded.

That caused the the initial launch to sputter.

That not withstanding, again, the country will be vaccinated way before Fauci told Americans that the 1st vaccine would be available.

That’s a gigantic miss by “America’s doctor”.

 

 

Studies: Fauci’s endorsement hardens net vaccine hesitancy…

March 19, 2021

Time to put him out to pasture?
=============

Loyal readers know that I’m not a big fan of Dr. Anthony Fauci —  Biden’s chief political-scientist — who is always certain (but often wrong), occasionally evidence-based (except when the data goes against him), straight-shooting (depending on the political winds).

For full chapter, verse and sources re: Fauci’s many mis-steps, see

Yesterday, I got a couple of more logs to throw on my Fauci fire.

==============

First, in the morning, I was doing a deep dive into vaccine hesitancy — why some people are reluctant to take the Covid vaccines — and how the resistance might be softened.

Note: For the moment, I’ll skip over the thornier question: Should the resistance be softened? I’ll have more on that subject in future posts.

I came across the COVID States Project Report #36: Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine communication strategies.

Note: The 50-state COVID-19 project is “a multi-university group of researchers with expertise in computational social science, network science, public opinion polling, epidemiology, public health, communication, and political science.”

Here’s what caught my eye in the report

The researchers queried study participants on whether public endorsements (i.e. televised vaccinations or public service messaging) by an array of personalities would make the subjects more or less likely to get vaccinated.

For example, predictably, an endorsement by Trump made Democrats less likely to get vaccinated and an endorsement by Obama (or Biden) made Republicans less likely.

Less predictably, a vaccine endorsement by Dr. Fauci resulted in only small reductions in vaccine resistance among Democrats, but increased and  strengthened vaccine resistance among Republicans.

According to the researchers, the Fauci finding “contrasts with unspecified scientists and respondents’ personal physicians, whose endorsement reduce vaccine resistance across the board.”

So, the researchers conclude that Fauci has taken on a partisan association that has substantially reduced his credibility and effectiveness as a messenger.

=============

Later in the day, I caught an interview with Frank Luntz who presented some focus group video footage re: vaccine hesitancy among Republicans.

Disclosure: The interview was on Fox; Luntz leans right but usually exhibits anti-Trump tendencies.

The headline from the focus group:

image

Click to view a worthwhile 1-minute video clip that brings the comments to life:

image

Luntz’s conclusion: Fauci — “who keeps changing his mind and moving the goalposts” — has no credibility whatsoever among Republicans … if you want reluctant people to get vaccinated, the message must be delivered by their personal physicians.

=============

Bottom line:

Both the impartial 50 States Project and the Luntz focus group reach the same fundamental conclusions:

>  If you want to overcome vaccine hesitancy

>  And, if Republicans are, in fact, the problem (i.e. more reluctant to get vaccinated than Democrats)

> Then one of the last people you want pitching the merits of getting vaccinated is Fauci

> Especially if he’s dishing inflammatory, condescending messages like “Getting vaccinated is a no-brainer”.

To summarize more bluntly: Yes – it’s time to put Fauci out to pasture.

Amen.

It’s official: Fauci whiffs, again!

March 19, 2021

How many times can a media-proclaimed “leading expert” miss the mark and still hold the title?
=============
My running tally of Fauci’s mis-steps:

  • He originally said that the COVID risk to Americans was miniscule
  • He opposed the Chinese travel ban as unnecessary or, at least, premature
  • He illogically told people not to wear masks since they won’t help and would deplete PPE stockpiles.  Only the latter was true.
  • He grossly misled Congress regarding the COVID death rate (by an order of magnitude!), conflating the conflation of the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) and Case Fatality Rate (CFR).  The CFR (of which Fauci was likely referring) is about 10 times the IFR. Source
  • He championed the “15 days to stop the spread” … using the widely discredited projection of  2 million “do nothing” deaths to seal the deal with Trump. (Note: the 15 day program is approaching day #300).
  • He lauded Cuomo’s “Gold Standard” response to COVID … despite highest death count (over 35,000), 2nd highest fatality rate (NJ is #1), wasted resources (think: a hospital ship, field hospitals and ventilators), an economic disaster in NYC and, oh yeah, a crushing 2nd wave of COVIID.
  • He admitted to boosting his estimate of the herd immunity threshold “partly based on new science and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.” Source
  • He led the charge to close the schools (but now concedes to closing the bars, but opening the schools)
  • And, back in March, 2020 he proclaimed that “it will take a year or more to develop a Coronavirus vaccine.”

Well, Dr. Leading Expert, the Pfizer vaccine was approved on December 11, 2020 and the 100 millionth dose was administered on March 12, 2021 … thanks to Trump’s Operation Warp Speed!

Perhaps, Fauci will rush to CNN today to say “Trump was right, I was wrong.”

I won’t hold my breath …

 

Does Fauci think before he speaks?

December 23, 2020

Loyal readers know that I’m no fan of Dr. Fauci.

It continues to amaze me that, despite all of his errant pronouncements and advice, that the MSM and half of America hangs on his every word.

This week, the media ubiquitous pop-doc went on CNN to reassure children that Santa is safe … that he (Fauci) personally vaccinated Santa and made sure that he was good to go.

image

All right, I understand that it was all intended to be in good fun, but…

(more…)

It’s official: Fauci whiffs, again!

December 15, 2020

How many times can a media-proclaimed “leading expert” miss the mark and still hold the title?

By my count:

  • He originally said that the COVID risk to Americans was miniscule
  • He opposed the Chinese travel ban as unnecessary or, at least, premature
  • He illogically told people not to wear masks since they won’t help and would deplete PPE stockpiles.  Only the latter was true.
  • He grossly misled Congress regarding the COVID death rate (by an order of magnitude!), conflating the conflation of the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) and Case Fatality Rate (CFR).  The CFR (of which Fauci was likely referring) is about 10 times the IFR. Source
  • He championed the “15 days to stop the spread” … using the widely discredited projection of  2 million “do nothing” deaths to seal the deal with Trump. (Note: the 15 day program is approaching day #300).
  • He lauded Cuomo’s “Gold Standard” response to COVID … despite highest death count (over 35,000), 2nd highest fatality rate (NJ is #1), wasted resources (think: a hospital ship, field hospitals and ventilators), an economic disaster in NYC and, oh yeah, a crushing 2nd wave of COVIID.
  • He admitted to boosting his estimate of the herd immunity threshold “partly based on new science and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.” Source
  • He led the charge to close the schools (but now says to close the bars, but open the schools)
  • And, back in March, he proclaimed that “it will take a year or more to develop a Coronavirus vaccine.”

Flashback to March 3, 2020:

Well, Dr. Leading Expert, the first shots of vaccine were administered yesterday… thanks to Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

Perhaps, Fauci will rush to CNN today to say “Trump was right, I was wrong.”

I won’t hold my breath …

=============

P.S. Biden announced Fauci as his chief medical adviser.  Say, what?

That’s not following “the science”, it’s following the “political science”.

Fauci greenlights voting in person …

August 18, 2020

Let’s see if the Dems turn on him.
=============

Dr. Anthony “Wide Left” Fauci made news in an interview with ABC’s Deborah Roberts.

Roberts wash baiting Fauci to endorse mass voting by mail this November.

To her shock and dismay, Fauci said:

“If people follow appropriate precautions, safe in-person voting should be possible during the upcoming 2020 general election.”

image

Fauci explained…

(more…)