Here’s the lead (first paragraph) on a National Geographic feature interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci published on Monday:
“ANTHONY ‘TONY’ FAUCI has become the scientific face of America’s COVID-19 response, and he says the best evidence shows the virus behind the pandemic was not made in a lab in China.”
It’s sad, but just saying that makes Fauci, once again, a profile in courage.
He’s a scientist, and he’s just giving his best analysis of what the “best evidence” shows, but since it contradicts President Trump’s utterly unscientific, evidence-be-damned belief that China made the virus and Trump’s oft-expressed suspicion that China unleashed it on purpose, and since Trump has a horrifying-but-no-longer-surprising tendency to fire people who disagree with him, and since Fauci works for him, and since Fauci has, on a number of occasions, quietly declined to lend his credibility to things Trump says ( a habit that causes many executive branch officials to get fired), saying such a thing makes the calm, principled, ethical director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (a position he has held under Democratic and Republicans administrations since 1984) something of a profile in courage in the sense that he says what the science leads him to believe (which, in the administration of other presidents did not seem to require so much courage).
Maybe, since he’ll turn 80 late this year, he just doesn’t need the gig. But I prefer crediting his courage, especially during the demoralizing presidency of a man who doesn’t tolerate independent thought very well and whose TV catchphrase was “you’re fired.”
The happiest news in the piece is that Fauci believes it’s possible that an effective vaccine for coronavirus might be available as soon as January. But, sadly, it’s only May, and Fauci is certainly worried (and willing to say out loud) that there’s a substantial chance of a major resurgence in new cases later this year. He encourages masks, and urges social distancing, all of which makes a lot of sense but nonetheless, considering who his boss is, makes him a man of integrity.
I’ll stop blabbing and leave as much time as you need to read the whole National Geographic feature on, and interview with, Fauci. You can access it here.