'That's the Way Science Works': Fauci Denies Flip-Flopping on Masks

Posted: Jun 21, 2021 5:00 PM
'That's the Way Science Works': Fauci Denies Flip-Flopping on Masks

Source: Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci joined Kara Swisher of The New York Times to again defend his reputation as more and more people lose faith in his leadership and guidance during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. 

Fauci less-than-humbly described himself as "a public health official and a scientist who’s devoted my entire 50-year medical career, 40 of which have been in public health, to saving lives — and, in fact, saving millions of lives." 

"Here’s a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives, and now you’re telling me he’s like Hitler? Come on, folks. Get real," he added.

Fauci also suggested to The New York Times that there is a coordinated campaign to discredit truth because "it just seems to me really rather strange that everyone says the same talking points" and "you have people who absolutely have no idea of what they’re talking about with virology are talking about furin cleavage sites. Like, who gave you that talking point?"

The embattled scientist also addressed the criticism that's been focused on what he knew, when he knew it, and why he didn't speak more frankly with the American people during his frequent TV appearances. 

"The people who are giving the ad hominems are saying 'Ah, Fauci mislead us—first he said no masks, then he said masks.' Well, let me give you a flash, that's the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time. It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves. That is the nature of science. It is a self-correcting process."

"And that's the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science. It was not a change because I felt like flip-flopping, it was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed." So, as Fauci explained, he also "changed his mind."

Of his emails that revealed the internal conversations taking place between himself and others about COVID-19's potential lab origin and mask efficacy, Fauci said "I didn’t say anything in the email that I was worried about."

Dr. Fauci also repeated his belief that the Wuhan coronavirus did not originate in a lab, but was a natural transition from animals to humans, saying "I feel, as do the overwhelming majority of scientists who have knowledge of virology and knowledge of evolutionary biology, that the most likely explanation for this is a natural leap from an animal reservoir to a human." He also claims that he said, "let’s keep an open mind” when others asked about the chance that COVID-19 originated in a lab. 

As we know now, Fauci was briefing world leaders in early 2020 on the possibility of a lab leak origin, the theory about which he now sows doubt.

And on the topic of the Chinese Communist Party's attempts to mislead or obscure on COVID-19, Fauci said the Chinese "have something that goes on in their own country, they just act in a very put-offish way," adding "They’re not forthcoming with information. Does that mean that they’re really lying and hiding something? I don’t know." 

We also now know that Chinese Communist Party leaders colluded with World Health Organization officials to "to delay publishing vital information about the Wuhan coronavirus" and, specifically, "not tell the world that the coronavirus was transmitted from person-to-person."

When asked what his initial reaction to the Wuhan coronavirus would be had he known in 2020 what he knows now, Fauci said "I don’t think it would have worked because I don’t think I would have convinced anybody" but that he would "shut everything down" in January 2020 when there were just "17 cases."