Allegedly Apolitical Fauci Claims ‘There’s No Appetite for Locking Down’ So We Shouldn’t Do It


White House infectious disease honcho Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed, without evidence, that “there’s no appetite for locking down” in the face of a tsunami of Covid cases, and further claimed that we can control the spread of the disease without doing so.

On Thursday morning’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, anchor Robin Roberts asked Fauci “Do you believe that we’re headed for a national lockdown?”

“You know, I don’t know, we would like to stay away from that, Robin, because there is no appetite for locking down on the American public,” Fauci said, and added “but I believe that we can do it without a lockdown. I really do.”

He went on to say, “The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public health measures short of locking down. So if you can do that well, you don’t have to take that step that people are trying to avoid, which has so many implications both psychologically and economically. We’d like not to do that.”

Fauci says he likes to stay out of politics — unless it’s to spare the feelings of President Donald Trump and his throngs of superspreading fans — but what he’s doing here is wading into a looming political crisis with nothing to back himself up but fear of MAGAs being mean to him. Leaving aside the accuracy of his claims, assessing public opinion about lockdowns is manifestly not medically relevant and not part of Fauci’s job as he has so often articulated it.

But the fact of the matter is that while Americans don’t want to lock down, the overwhelming majority of them were willing to do so if necessary — even before the terrifying juggernaut of death that’s approaching like a freight train. In October, 72 percent of Americans said they were very or somewhat likely to comply with a 4-week shelter-in-place order were it to become necessary. Only 18 percent said they would not.

And if you guessed that Republicans were less than half as likely as Democrats to say they’d comply, you’d be 100 percent correct.

Which brings me to Fauci’s second evidence-free claim, that we can stop this horror show by masking up and socially distancing and washing our hands, because the data and the evidence of your eyes and ears shows that no, we can’t, because Trump fans won’t let us. Those measures won’t work if, say, 35 percent of half the country goes around infecting people while the rest of us try not to let them. If we could do it, we would have done it by now.

Covid cases have been exploding for weeks, and the death toll has begun to show the leading edge of an uptick that started in early October. There were almost 2,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths Wednesday, likely from infections that occurred when average cases were a third of what they are now.

Fauci has been a terrible messenger on this for a very long time, stage-whispering passive-aggressive criticisms of Trump’s manifestly harmful actions under the guise of separating politics from the science, but in this case, the politics is the science. If a significant minority won’t stop spreading death, then science says death will continue to spread.

President-elect Joe Biden may very well be forced to consider some kind of national lockdown when the American public’s appetite for death exceeds Trump fans’ discomfort with wearing masks, and Fauci’s comments are a political obstacle to achieving that if it becomes necessary.

And Fauci could easily have used the distaste for lockdowns to our advantage, by warning that unless everyone cuts the crap and starts doing what needs to be done, we will definitely have to lock down! Whatever his reason for not doing so, it sure as hell wasn’t science.

Watch the clip above via ABC.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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