Consider the difference in what was quoted. Fauci in January, well before serious community spread in the US, was saying that it could be contained. Not that the virus wasn’t dangerous, but that it could have a similar spread to SARS, and that as long as the experts and leaders took appropriate steps we could keep the virus from becoming an epidemic here. But, the clear implication is that we need to act to do so.
Trump, at the same time, was telling Woodward exactly how dangerous the virus was IF it did spread. That it was way worse than the flu and that it is more contagious. Trump and Fauci were saying different things here, things that can both be true, and Fauci is regrettably following the direction of Trump to avoid causing a panic by saying we can contain it and that the China ban would help (it didn’t).
Trump, then spent the next 3+ months, standing in front of the press saying the exact opposite of what he knew to be true. Of taking active steps to counteract the recommendations of Fauci and the rest of the medical community. Encouraging his asshole supporters to flout the recommendations and that people taking precautions are pussies.
These two things are not comparable and it should be so patently obvious that the op-ed quoted is a total fucking lie. What did Fauci do wrong…1) he downplayed the risk of spread in January, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, but in retrospect didn’t help and was in line with the WH’s strategy, 2) he said widespread mask wearing isn’t necessary, which also was probably counterproductive but reasonable when you consider the massive shortage we had due to idiotic planning and the shipment of PPE to China by the WH early on, and 3) he allowed the assumption that the WH wasn’t wildly incompetent and assumed that we’d take the common sense steps to prevent spread and wouldn’t politicize it like we had for past novel infections.
Let’s parse the Fauci statements, taken out of context in the op-ed by the way, and see what was said.
Jan 26th: “I don’t think so. The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something that we, as public health officials, need to take very seriously.”
At the time, this was accurate and the last point is the critical one…medical professionals need to be taking steps to prevent this with support of the government. It’s very dangerous, we need to prevent spread, but little did Fauci know that the administrator was going to step on it’s tiny mushroom dick.
Feb 28-29th: “It could be really, really bad, I don’t think it’s gonna be, because I think we’d be able to do the kind of mitigation. It could be mild.”; “Right now, at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis. Right now the risk is still low, but this could change. … I mean, this could be a major outbreak. I hope not.”
Again…the virus is not known to be widespread in the US yet. But it could be a catastrophe if proper steps aren’t taken. Little did he know that steps would not just be not taken, but would be actively undermined.
So, Fauci didn’t lie, not once. He failed in 2 regards. He trusted the administration and our institutions’ capabilities to respond effectively and uniformly with the support of the American people before it became a problem. He made statements were intended to keep people calm, when they shouldn’t have been calm, based on the lack of evidence of broad community spread…when it was just that, a lack of evidence, not a lack of spread. At no point did he say this wasn’t a dangerous virus and at no point did he say there wasn’t a major risk IF we didn’t contain it.
Trump on the otherhand, outright lied repeatedly about the virus and the risk if you are infected. He ENCOURAGED people to ignore recommendations. He gave away PPE and didn’t produce it when we learned it was needed. He shit talked the CDC, NIAI, NIH and WHO. He promised that it would disappear, that it was a mild flu, tried to obscure the number of infected. And he continued to do this into fucking June. And we know that Trump knew better, that he had the info from Fauci and others.