Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci for manipulating public perception surrounding COVID-19, calling out the infectious doctor for repeatedly lying to Americans in particular about the effectiveness of wearing a face mask and “distorting” the estimated level of vaccinated American population needed to reach herd immunity.
“Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March. Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity,” Rubio tweeted Sunday after Dr. Fauci’s CNN interview. “It isn’t just him. Many in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know ‘what’s good for them’ so they need to be tricked into ‘doing the right thing.'”
Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March
Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity
It isn’t just him
Many in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know “what’s good for them” so they need to be tricked into “doing the right thing”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 27, 2020
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Dr. Fauci admitted that he “slowly but deliberately” raised his estimates on the projection level regarding how many Americans would need the COVID-19 vaccine to reached herd immunity level. The infectious disease director also revealed that once public opinion showed more support for vaccination, he would change his estimates level for unscientific reason, but refused to give a random definitive number.
“Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goalposts,” the New York Times published the article during the Christmas break as means to bury the story lead. “He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.”
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85,” Fauci stated in the New York Times article. “We have to have some humility here…We really don’t know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90%. But, I’m not going to say 90%.”
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union, Dr. Fauci clarified his stance from his recent New York Times sitdown when pressed on why he wasn’t straightforward to begin with.
“I don’t think it can be interpreted as being straight or not,” Fauci stated, pushing back on the idea that he had used certain data points to distort people’s perception in claiming that “these are pure estimates,” and that “nobody really knows for sure.”
“We have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know. These are pure estimates and the calculations that I made — 70, 75 percent — it’s a range. The range is going to be somewhere between 70 and 85 percent — I brought it to 85, that’s not a big leap to go from 75 to 85, but it was really based on calculations and pure extrapolations from measles. Measles is about 98 percent effective vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is about 94, 95 percent. So the bottom line is, it’s a guesstimate. I gave a range and I use any discussion like we’re having now, Dana, to encourage people to get to that goal of 70 to 85 percent of the people vaccinated. That’s where we want to be.”
The infectious director’s remarks in the New York Times article sparked outrage against Fauci for his continuous flip-flopping to the American public regarding information on the pandemic.
“When you can’t just ‘trust the science’ because the scientists keep lying to you and then saying, ‘oh, that was just a noble lie, sorry about that,'” New York Times columnist Ross Douthat tweeted in the caption attaching a screenshot of Fauci’s remarks to the Times and link to the article.
Regarding Rubio’s remark that Fauci “lied about masks in March,” was directed at the top infectious director turnabout in recommendations on Americans wearing masks. During the onset of the pandemic, Fauci pushed back against the idea of everyone wearing a mask.
“The third priority is the general population, who if they wear a mask they may assume that it’s 100% protected — it’s just not. It’s probably, you can guess that number, maybe 50%. So when we say you don’t need to wear a mask, what we’re really saying is make sure you prioritize it first for the people who need the mask.”
However, months later, Dr. Fauci eventually admitted that the real reason he and other health officials tried to dissuade Americans from wearing a face mask back in March was calculated in order to reserve masks for health care workers.
“Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned — the public health community and many people were saying this — were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview with TheStreet in June. “So there was not an enthusiasm about going out and everybody buying a mask or getting a mask. We were afraid that that would deter away from the people who really needed it. Now, we have masks. We know that you don’t need an N95 — an ordinary person in the street. We also know that simple cloth coverings that many people have can work as well as a mask in many cases… So, although there appears to be some contradiction of ‘We were saying this then,’ and, ‘Why are you saying this now?’ actually circumstances have changed. That’s the reason why.”
The infectious doctor during the Senate health and education committee in July sought to place blames on others than his own missteps in blaming federal leaders for giving “mixed messages” and conflicting advice around face masks in the early days of the pandemic as the reason for public distrust.
The remarks from Rubio saw a scorn of liberal pundits, celebrities, and other social media users expressing disgust with the Florida Senator for daring to call the liberal beloved doctor out by speaking the truth and pointing out Fauci’s misleading and flip-flop on certain pandemic aspects.
The View’s Ana Navarro blasted Rubio, claiming Fauci is a “trusted voice” who doesn’t lie. MSNBC and CNN throughout Monday’s news coverage saw a series of different hosts joining the chorus of attacking Rubio, making several accusations towards the Florida Senator without citing any evidence.
Despite these “fact-checking” site claiming the infectious doctor “didn’t lie” about masks in order to mark Rubio’s remark as “false,” the truth is Fauci knew that masks worked, but repeatedly lied about them to prevent people from buying or possibly hoarding the specialized equipment. As a result of Fauci remarks, President Trump was able to stock up on medical graded masks a week after the majority of the nation shut down, but the “14 days to slow the spread” continued well beyond into the rest of the year and unprecedented economic wreckage of small businesses destroyed.