The top White House coronavirus adviser under two presidents, Dr. Anthony Fauci, gave the wrong answers to the major epidemiological and public health questions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, contend two experts on infectious disease outbreaks.
In a column published by Newsweek.com. Drs. Martin Kulldorf of Harvard and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford write that when the pandemic hit, America “needed someone to turn to for advice.”
The media and public turned to Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Trump’s top health adviser on the pandemic.
However, Kulldorf and Bhattacharya write, “Reality and scientific studies have now caught up with him.”
Kulldorff is an epidemiologist, biostatistician and professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Bhattacharya is a professor of Health Policy at Stanford University School of Medicine. They are the co-authors, along with Dr. Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, of the Great Barrington Declaration, advocating a public policy of “focused protection” on the vulnerable while letting others go about their business. More than 860,000 people have signed the declaration, including 14,981 medical and public health scientists, and 44,167 medical practitioners.
Here are the key issues that Fauci got wrong, they contend:
Natural immunity: “By pushing vaccine mandates, Dr. Fauci ignores naturally acquired immunity among the COVID-recovered, of which there are more than 45 million in the United States.”
Protecting the elderly: “While anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in mortality risk between the old and the young.”
School closures: “Schools are major transmission points for influenza, but not for COVID.”
Masks: “For children, there is no solid scientific evidence that masks work.”
Contact tracing: “For a commonly circulating viral infection such as COVID, it was a hopeless waste of valuable public health resources that did not stop the disease.”
Collateral public health damage: “As an immunologist, Dr. Fauci failed to properly consider and weigh the disastrous effects lockdowns would have on cancer detection and treatment, cardiovascular disease outcomes, diabetes care, childhood vaccination rates, mental health and opioid overdoses, to name a few.”
Kulldorf and Bhattacharya said that most of their scientific colleagues agree with them on those points.
“While a few have spoken up, why are not more doing so? Well, some tried but failed. Others kept silent when they saw colleagues slandered and smeared in the media or censored by Big Tech.”
Some who have remained silent are government employees forbidden from contradicting official policy. Others fear losing their positions or research grants, “aware that Dr. Fauci sits on top of the largest pile of infectious disease research money in the world.”
“Most scientists are not experts on infectious disease outbreaks. Were we, say, oncologists, physicists or botanists, we would probably also have trusted Dr. Fauci,” Kulldorf and Bhattacharya say.
Now, governors, journalists, scientists, university presidents, hospital administrators and business leaders need to open their eyes and examine the evidence that has mounted over the past year and a half, they write.
“After 700,000-plus COVID deaths and the devastating effects of lockdowns, it is time to return to basic principles of public health.”
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