Orange Man and the Good Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci is a good guy. He’s probably been working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week on the coronavirus. Dude is, what, 80 years old? He’s a walking representative for good health it seems. But there’s a problem: Some of his statements have been contradictory. This is the lead medical scientist advising the president. He’s been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Since January 2020, he has been one of the lead members of the Trump Administration's White House Coronavirus Task Force addressing the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

What does a doofus like Trump know about coronavirus? About as much as me, probably, which is to say, not much. So,  the president depends on the advice of his scientists, led by the good Dr. Fauci.

Recently, the press has been attacking Trump, saying that he should have known about the impact of corona in January. One article from ABC News (picked up by Yahoo) even claimed that he should have known about it in November 2019, even though the article states at the end that the pentagon agency that supposedly produced intelligence to support this assertion denied that they ever produced an intelligence product, and that the reporting on it was incorrect. But that assertion made the rounds and people “know” it’s true. (It should be noted that ABC News still stands by it's story as of April 14. We'll see.)

So what else is new? Mainstream media (whether left or right) long ago abandoned objectivity. The fault lines in today’s media are pro-Trump and anti-Trump, and stories are designed around these fault lines. Agendas are made and facts are marshaled to support the pro- or anti-Trump agenda. That’s the way it is in America today.

So let’s look at the assertion that Trump was negligent, and should have known about corona and its impact in January 2020. We’ll examine the advice he was getting from his head  scientist. We’ll do this with statements from Dr. Fauci himself, in his own words.

Dr. Fauci gave an interview on NewsMax TV on January 21, 2020, in which he said,

We need to take this [coronavirus] seriously, and do the kinds of things the CDC and the DHS are doing. but this [coronavirus] is not a major threat to the people of the United States, and this is not something the citizens of the US should be worried about.”

This statement was entirely truthful at the time.

You’ll recall that the World Health Organization, on January 12th (significantly missing from its “timeline” of the coronavirus spread across the world) published a statement that, ‘after consultation with the Chinese Minister of Public Health of the People’s Republic of China (read, Communist Party of China) that there is no human to human transmission of the coronavirus.’ On January 14th, the WHO tweeted this out, making sure the world knew about it. You’ll recall that 48 hours later, the CCP shut down the Forbidden City in Beijing and began to lockdown the entire country. On January 15, the trade delegation from China came to the US, rubbing elbows with the U.S. trade delegation, and signed the agreement! They said nothing about coronavirus and the outbreak in Wuhan and Hubei Province. Significantly, the CCP trade delegation insisted on a force majeure provision in the trade agreement, which would negate the deal if an “act of God” occurred. This is standard in contracts, but seems suspicious now. Conclusion: Somebody in that trade delegation knew about the outbreak in China, but didn’t tell anyone about it.

Here’s the definition of force majeure:

Force majeure – or vis major – meaning "superior force", also known as cas fortuit or casus fortuitus "chance occurrence, unavoidable accident", is a common clause in contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, epidemic or an event described by the legal term act of God, prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. In practice, most force majeure clauses do not excuse a party's non-performance entirely, but only suspend it for the duration of the force majeure. ”


But back to the good Dr. Fauci. On January 21st he told us that there’s nothing to worry about.

On January 26th Dr. Fauci was on the John Catsimatidis show on WABC in New York, America’s premiere radio station. In response to a coronavirus question, “Should they [the American people] be scared?" Dr. Fauci replied,

I don’t think so, the American people should not be worried or frightened by this, it’s a very low risk to the US but it’s something, as public health officials, we need to take very seriously.”

This statement was entirely truthful at the time.

So, by January 26th, Dr. Fauci is saying that there’s no problem, really. Just what Trump was saying.

On January 29th, Trump announces a trial balloon that he’s thinking of restricting travel from China. On January 31st, he makes it official. Joe Biden, echoed by almost every mainstream news outlet, calls Trump “racist” and “xenophobic.”

Now let’s fast forward to February 10th, ten days later.  Dr. Fauci gives an interview to the Washington Post. When asked whether there is human to human transmission of the virus in the US, Dr. Fauci responds,

There is very little, but some, transmission from person to person.”

“Should we be doing anything different from what we are doing today?” he is asked.

Dr. Fauci responds: “No.”

“Should we be wearing a mask?"

“Absolutely not.”

Another perfectly true statement at the time.

Now let’s move forward to February 23rd. The tireless Dr. Fauci makes an appearance on the excellent CNBC network and says this:

As the entry of potentially infected people diminishes because of the travel restrictions on both sides, I think you’re going to see a dampening down of cases.”

Again, a perfectly true statement at the time.

On February 29th, the indefatigable Dr. Fauci appears on the Today Show with Peter Alexander and Kristen Welker. He is asked the following question:

Should we be changing our habits, and how?”

“No, as this moment there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

OK, we accept that. Dr. Fauci is the expert, we’re a bunch of morons.

But here’s the kicker. On March 8th, Dr. Fauci says the following:

I was adamant about shutting down the country in January.”

Well, maybe he was. But then he’s telling the public something entirely different than he’s telling Trump. That there, folks, is what is called "Covering You Ass.” Who knows, maybe the good doctor is just getting tired. Hell, the guy is 80 and he’s doing the best he can. But how is Trump to blame for not shutting down the country in January if he’s getting the same advice from his chief medical scientist as he’s telling the public? Well, it’s just another case of Orange Man Bad I guess.

On March 11, The Sun, a UK newspaper, prints the following in bold:

DONALD Trump took the unprecedented step to suspend ALL flights from nearly all of Europe to the US for next 30 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a drastic move, the United States will bar entry from 26 European countries, except the UK and Ireland, for a month - as cases in the US exceed 1,200 with at least 37 deaths.”

So, on March 11, it’s a drastic move to suspend flights from Europe, entirely consistent with the advice he’s getting from his medical advisers that we don’t need to change our behavior.

Finally, let’s fast forward to  April 12, where the unflagging Dr. Fauci is interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC.

By the time we got that information and we started getting cases here - it’s not efficiently spread from human to human - but as soon as it became clear that there was community spread – which means, that is isn’t just a travel-related case, that there are cases in the community that are on the radar screen then it became clear that we are in real trouble.”

OK, this is perfectly true.

Sharpton then asks Dr. Fauci, “About when was that?”

“Well, that was probably toward the middle to the end of January.”

OOPS. That’s a lie, and it’s contradicted by the good doctor’s own statements. It does, however, tend to support the articles in the mainstream press that said Trump mismanaged the corona crisis, that he should have known about it in November 2019,  that he should have known about it in January 2020...there’s something fishy going on here. I want to say again, I didn't vote for Trump, and I can see why people don't like him. But even a doofus deserves some fairness. If the good doctor knew about human-human transmission in January, as he said to Rev. Sharpton, why was he telling us not to change our behavior all the way until February 29th? What advice was he giving to Trump?

Orange Man has a lot of personality faults, but failing to shut down the country in January isn’t one of them.