Posted by Curt on 16 December, 2022 at 10:10 am. 5 comments already!


by Aaron Kheriaty, MD

Last week, The New York Times published a guest essay in praise of Dr. Anthony Fauci, written by Dr. Anthony Fauci. In this auto-hagiography, Fauci, who until recently served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, or NAIAD, and as President Biden’s chief medical adviser, attempted to rewrite recent history.
“I never aspired to a major administrative position and relished my identity as a hands-on physician and clinical researcher,” wrote the man who at the height of the pandemic found time to pose for an InStyle fashion shoot. Fauci added: “I ‌‌always speak the unvarnished truth to ‌presidents and other senior government officials, even when such truths may be uncomfortable or politically inconvenient, because extraordinary things can happen when science and politics work hand in hand.” Just so: Extraordinary things certainly have happened under his watch when science and politics fused.
It was a remarkable piece of mainstream-media-powered mendacity—and a reminder of Fauci’s mastery of the ways of contemporary power. It’s that savvy that has allowed Fauci to maintain his unprecedented position of power and influence for almost four decades at the NAIAD division of the National Institutes of Health, notwithstanding his failures and dangerous power-grabs during the AIDS epidemic and the Covid pandemic. And it’s what impelled me to join a lawsuit against him in Missouri v. Bidencharging that Fauci and other senior officials in the administration violated the First Amendment’s free-speech protections by colluding with social-media companies to censor information that questioned the government’s favored Covid policies.
When the pandemic arrived, we saw a concerted effort to anoint Fauci the public face of the nation’s health authorities. Many Americans, especially our media and tech gatekeepers, hoped that Fauci, the steady man of science, could play foil to the erratic President Donald Trump in those harried news conferences of early 2020. The nation—indeed, the world—looked to this man to keep his hand on the rudder and guide us calmly through the pandemic storm.
Fauci was ready for his moment in the sun. A consummate DC insider, he had cultivated a power base in Washington and the media for decades. He served in several administrations, under both parties, and craftily used the AIDS epidemic to increase funding for NAIAD and gain enormous control over biomedical research in the United States. He also cultivated media allies, who were eager for access to Fauci’s insider scoop when the pandemic broke.
Fauci’s influence on the recent US pandemic response extends back decades. In 1989, Fauci organized a conference in Washington to introduce a novel concept: a biosecurity threat. People had worried about biological weapons prior to 1989, of course, but Fauci’s conference introduced a consequential reframing: The potential threat was no longer a novel pathogen, such as a virus or bacteria, whether of natural origin or developed as a bioweapon. Rather, the new paradigm focused instead on humanity as a microbial population vector. The challenge, in other words, was that people functioned as a conveyance apparatus for viruses or bacteria.
Grasping this point goes a long way toward helping us understand our disastrous Covid response. In Fauci’s frame, the human population itself becomes a dangerous problem to be solved by experts—by a new caste of technocrats who must be granted unprecedented powers to control their fellow human beings. This biosecurity model became America’s infectious-disease-response policy following the Anthrax attacks shortly after 9/11. That’s when we began to hear the language of pandemic “countermeasures”—which isn’t a medical term, but the jargon of spycraft and soldiering.
As Ashley Rindsberg has documented, contrary to popular opinion, far from being a public health expert, since 2003 Fauci has sat atop America’s bio-defense infrastructure—wielding the enormous post-9/11 powers and budget this brought to his previously obscure NAIAD, one of 27 divisions at the NIH.
In Fauci’s reconfigured agency, with no oversight structure above him, the distinction between biodefense and scientific research collapsed. As Rindsberg explains: “Biodefense projects that formerly would have fallen under the authority of military or intelligence agencies were now under his direct supervision.” This also explains why Fauci is the highest paid federal employee, earning more than the US president, our four-star generals, senators, and Supreme Court justices, and why he makes roughly double the salary of his nominal superior, the NIH director—a fact that indicates who really holds sway over biomedical research funding in the United States.
It took more than 20 years, but the biosecurity approach became the default strategy during the Covid pandemic. Over the last three years, the biomedical-security paradigm has been rolled out on a global scale, shaping what I dubbed our New Abnormal. Recall how the phrase “the new normal” emerged almost immediately in the initial weeks of the pandemic, and how many ordinary social norms and expectations were rebranded as dangerous. In the first month of Covid, Fauci even suggested that perhaps we would never again go back to shaking hands.
Authoritarian lockdowns, school closures, vaccine and mask mandates, vaccine passports, and other assorted biosecurity measures proved ineffective at stopping the spread of the virus, and thus failed to achieve their intended goals. Instead, these previously untested policies inflicted enormous collateral damage. The full measure of these harms—the medical, psychological, and spiritual carnage—will take decades to unpack, though there is already plenty of available evidence to sift through.
The Missouri v. Biden case, in which I’m one of the plaintiffs, is a First Amendment free-speech lawsuit alleging that government officials across at least 17 different federal agencies leaned on social-media companies to suppress free speech, especially when it involves the government’s pandemic response. During his recent deposition in our case, Fauci confirmed what many suspected regarding the origins of lockdowns—namely, that the decision to lock down wasn’t based on empirical data, but on the word of the Chinese authorities as conveyed by Fauci’s deputy at NAIAD, Clifford Lane. Indeed, in February 2020 there was no empirical data for this previously untested intervention, only flawed and now-disproved predictive computer models, like that of the Imperial College London, which were off by several orders of magnitude.
Tocqueville warned that democracy contains built-in vulnerabilities that can lead democratic nations into despotism. In our case, that vulnerability had a name and a representative figure: Anthony Fauci, an official who looked to a totalitarian state as the exemplar for managing a pandemic. The first state-ordered lockdown occurred in Wuhan and nearby Chinese cities. In mid-February 2020, the World Health Organization sent a delegation to China to investigate Covid. As the US delegate, Fauci dispatched Lane, his deputy.
Immediately upon returning, Lane convinced Fauci the United States should emulate China’s response. Given his adoption of the biosecurity model more than 20 years earlier, Fauci probably didn’t take much convincing. Chinese authorities told the WHO delegation that they had contained the virus through draconian lockdowns—a claim now clearly demonstrated to have been false. Had lockdowns worked in China as advertised in February 2020, we wouldn’t be seeing today record numbers of cases in China, notwithstanding the Communist Party’s increasingly terrifying and dystopian measures.
Given China’s historical pattern of falsified information, Lane and Fauci should have approached this intel with skepticism. After all, lockdowns were wholly untested and unprecedented. But as one of our lawyers in the case, Jenin Younes of the New Civil Liberties Alliance, put it, Fauci “was apparently willing to base his lockdown advocacy on the observations of a single guy relying on reports from a dictator.” Not exactly a double-blind randomized trial level of evidence for a man who identifies himself with The Science.
Days after Lane returned, the WHO published its report praising China’s strategy. Uncritically echoing Chinese propaganda, the report claimed: “China’s uncompromising and rigorous use of non-pharmaceutical measures to contain transmission of the COVID-19 virus in multiple settings provides vital lessons for the global response. This rather unique and unprecedented public health response in China reversed the escalating cases.”

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