Home / General / Republicans Want To Blast Anthony Fauci. Again.

Republicans Want To Blast Anthony Fauci. Again.


Today the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic will hold a hearing. The Republicans on the committee think they have material to smear Dr. Anthony Fauci. Additionally, they want to once again try to bolster the unbolsterable idea that the virus, SARS-CoV-2, was ginned up in a Chinese lab. Preferably one funded by Fauci.

The New York Times has a good setup article (gift link). They also went all out to put their editorial thumb on the scale by publishing an interactive op-ed by the contentious Alina Chan, the most vocal of the Ph.D. proponents of the idea that the virus came from a laboratory (not gift link).

This thread on Bluesky is a refutation of Chan’s article, but it gets fairly technical.

Here’s a Scientific American article saying some of the same things in more general language.

The hearing probably will bring forth a lot of griping on poorly remembered incidents and policy choices during the pandemic. Shockingly, the CDC changed some of their recommendations with time!

Science is a process, but a great many people find that difficult to grasp. It requires evidence of certain canonical kinds, put together logically. Public health requires weighing the scientific evidence against social factors. Put together, those requirements in the absence of information about SARS-CoV-2 resulted in some decisions that were later changed. For some of us, this is normal, but for the authoritarians on the Select Committee, it is a basis for berating Fauci.

The Washington Post examines the six-foot rule for social distancing. It seems to me that the important point was not to breathe in each others’ faces. It doesn’t matter whether it was six feet or three feet. Just stay back.

Then there’s the fact that there are a great many erroneous memories of the time. Kevin Drum gives us a nice example in relation to that WaPo article.

But here’s where my memory comes into play. You might wonder why anyone cares that much about 3 feet vs. 6 feet, and the answer is that lots of schools were shut down because they didn’t have enough space to keep kids separated by six feet.

But is that true? My recollection is that schools were mostly shut down over fear that teachers were in danger of being infected. On the other side of the argument, there was concern that keeping kids at home would expose them to elderly relatives and prevent parents who were caregivers from going to work. Beyond all this, the most common reason provided at the time was, basically, “It’s a pandemic! Of course we have to shut the schools.”

Expect erroneous memories to show up in the hearing along with flat-out lies.

We need Congressional hearings to consider how to be prepared for future pandemics that might result from, say, H5N1 bird flu. Today’s hearing isn’t that.

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner

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