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The name of Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has been known for being the advisor and designer of U.S. government policies since the beginning of the pandemic. But he has also become popular for his controversial statements about the pandemic, characterized by serious inconsistencies. This article will contrast his contradictions – on issues such as masks, vaccines and lockdowns.
Fauci vs. masks
The NIAID director said in March of last year that “there is no reason to walk around with a mask.” During his interview on 60 minutes he warned of unintended consequences of wearing the masks, saying that “people are still playing with the mask and still touching their face.”
Fauci later reported that officials recommended against wearing masks at the beginning of the pandemic because at that time there was a massive shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical workers who needed it most. In addition, more evidence of asymptomatic spread of the virus later emerged.
But now, the Dr. stated to NBC News that it is best to use not one, but two masks. “If you have one mask and one mask is worn, it’s common sense that there’s probably more effectiveness,” he commented.
Fauci vs vaccines
Combined with his inconsistencies about face masks, Fauci said that their use should be extended until 2022. But he also asserted, with respect to vaccines, that continued public health measures would be necessary if the vaccine has low effectiveness. But vaccines have been shown to be significantly more effective than expected (more than 90%).
Dr. Fauci has also significantly changed his position on the percentage of vaccination Americans would need to achieve herd immunity. Initially, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases had stated that the percentage of citizens who need to be vaccinated to reach that goal was 70%. Subsequently, the doctor changed the figure to more than 80%.
Because of his inconsistencies and troubling contrasts between his recommendations and reality, the New York Times accused Fauci of “quietly changing” recommendations. Fauci subsequently explained that his previous statement had been based on people’s opinions (because, apparently, that’s what a technologist should do, according to Fauci).
“When the polls said that only half of all Americans would get vaccinated, I was saying that herd immunity would be reduced from 70% to 75%,” Dr Fauci said, according to the Times. “Then,” Fauci justified himself, “when the most recent polls said 60% or more would accept it, I thought, ‘I can move this up a little bit, so I went to 80, 85.'”
Fauci vs lockdowns
On Sunday, the NIAID director declined to say on CNN that elders who are fully vaccinated would be able to see their grandchildren and said, “I don’t want to make a recommendation now on public television. I’d like to sit down with the team, take a look at it.”
But he also notoriously digressed regarding the normalization of American life. “If I’m fully vaccinated and my daughter comes into the house and she’s fully vaccinated,” the doctor exemplified, “common sense tells you that, in fact, you don’t have to be so strict.”
However, Fauci asserted that even after the vaccination is done, there is no clear picture of what citizens can and cannot do. “We want to get firm recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on what people can and can’t do when they get vaccinated,” the inconsistent doctor said.
Rafael Valera, Venezuelan, student of Political Science, political exile in São Paulo, Brazil since 2017 // Rafael Valera, venezolano, es estudiante de Ciencias Políticas y exiliado político en São Paulo, Brasil desde 2017