Fauci’s fall from grace: From orchestrating lockdowns to ‘lying’ about the lab leak


Dr Anthony Fauci officially stood down from his government roles today after four decades spearheading America’s response to infectious disease threats.

He became one of the most-cited scientists on the planet for his work on HIV and other infections – before becoming the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1984.

But Dr Fauci was not a name known to most Americans until 2020 when he became the face of the US’ Covid pandemic response. The 81-year-old was initially a revered figure — seen as a safe pair of hands in the face of a new, unknown pathogen and dubbed ‘America’s doctor’.

But his credibility has come under intense scrutiny in the two years since Covid struck after he exaggerated the effectiveness of vaccines to boost uptake, lied about face masks and pushed for lockdowns and school closures. 

In March 2020, when concern was rising globally over Covid, Fauci told Americans that there was ‘no need’ to wear a face mask. He insisted at the time that they may only help people ‘feel a little better’, and ‘might even block a droplet’ — but would not provide good protection.

Less than a month later, however, he urged all Americans to wear them and became an overnight face mask zealot, pushing for mandatory face coverings for children as young as two. 

He later admitted he lied to the public about the effectiveness of masks because America had a shortage and he did not want health workers to run out. Dr Fauci also exaggerated vaccine effectiveness against Covid infection to boost uptake — saying there was little chance those who are double-jabbed would catch Covid.

Meanwhile, Dr Fauci quashed discussion about Covid’s origin and denied virus-tinkering experiments went on at the Wuhan facility at the center of the lab leak theory – even though privately he expressed concern the virus was unleashed in an experiment-gone-wrong.

Dr Fauci has also made several bizarre claims during his time as the medical adviser to America’s Covid response. In an interview with MSNBC in June 2021 when criticisms about his judgement were put to him, he said critics were not only attacking him but ‘attacking science’.

Dr Fauci giving his final health briefing at the White House today as he steps down after decades as director of the NIAID and Biden’s chief medical adviser

Dr Fauci speaking back in 2003 at the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards ceremony held on Ellis Island, N.J. His work was instrumental during the HIV crisis and he went on to become President Biden's chief medical officer

Dr Fauci speaking back in 2003 at the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards ceremony held on Ellis Island, N.J. His work was instrumental during the HIV crisis and he went on to become President Biden’s chief medical officer

About 40,000 Covid cases are currently being recorded in the US every day, as figures plateau

About 40,000 Covid cases are currently being recorded in the US every day, as figures plateau

Some 300 deaths from the virus are also being recorded daily, a plateau since the summer

Some 300 deaths from the virus are also being recorded daily, a plateau since the summer

Dr Fauci is set to rake in the highest-ever federal government retirement package in US history with his annual payment exceeding $350,000, according to a Forbes estimate.

 In March 2020 when concern was rising globally over Covid Fauci told Americans that there was ‘no need’ to wear a face mask.

He insisted at the time that they may only help people ‘feel a little better’, and ‘might even block a droplet’ — but would not provide good protection.

Less than a month later, however, he was forced into an embarrassing climbdown after it emerged the virus spread via droplets in the air.

Dr Fauci later suggested he advised people not to wear masks to ensure there were enough available for hospitals and healthcare centers.

What did Fauci get wrong? From telling people not to wear masks to claiming vaccines stopped infections

Dr Anthony Fauci is due to step down from his position as one of America’s top infectious disease advisors at the end of this year.

Below are listed some of his key blunders when the virus struck

Don’t wear masks, do wear masks 

As global concern for Covid was surfacing in March 2020, Fauci told Americans that there was ‘no need’ to wear a face mask.

He said they may only help people ‘feel a little better’, and ‘might even block a droplet’ — but would not provide good protection.

Less than a month later, he was forced into an embarrassing climbdown after it emerged the virus spread via droplets in the air.

Dr Fauci later insisted he advised people not to wear masks to ensure there were enough available for hospitals and healthcare centers.

 Covid did not come from a lab

Dr Fauci has also repeatedly insisted that Covid did not leak from a lab in China.

He called the theory a ‘shiny object that will go away’, and brushed aside claims from other top experts as an ‘opinion’.

Dr Fauci has now backpedalled, saying instead that he keeps an ‘open mind’ although insisting that it remains ‘most likely’ that the virus spilled over from animals to humans.

Two jabs will stop you catching Covid 

When the Covid vaccine roll-out was in full swing, Dr Fauci told White House officials that there was little chance the double-jabbed would catch Covid.

He said the immunity from vaccines made them a ‘dead end’ for the virus, and even suggested they may no longer need to wear masks.

School shutdown

Under Dr Fauci’s orders, schools were closed from March through to August 2020. 

But he said last month that he ‘should have realized’ there would be ‘deleterious collateral consequences’.

Children are now bearing the brunt of the US’s tripledemic, after lockdowns left them without proper immune defense.

Dodgy dealings

In 2014, Dr Facui’s agency issued a $3.7million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, which some allege was used to support gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). 

Face masks were later mandated across indoor places and on public transport for more than two years as America rode out the Covid pandemic.

And his communications continued to be confused even after mandating masks for Americans.

During a congressional hearing, he was asked why he was wearing a mask indoors after being vaccinated.

Dr Fauci said: ‘Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. Masks are protective.’

Shortly after, the CDC said that people did not have to wear masks indoors, as long as they were vaccinated. 

Dr Fauci then admitted that had only been wearing a mask post-vaccination as a ‘signal’.

He told ABC: ‘Before the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals. But being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low.’

And he admitted to Senator Braun in May this year: ‘I don’t like mandates.’ 

No states currently have mask restrictions in place, but there are concerns they could return this winter.  

As the head of the NIAID, Dr Fauci was also a key orchestrator of lockdowns throughout the pandemic, as the shops and other businesses followed his guidance to shut their doors in spring of 2020.

Meanwhile, Florida did not lockdown, and had very low Covid rates.

It had one of the lowest case rates in the US, with case rates dropping 90 per cent between August and October 2021.

And when Omicron began to hit in November last year, Dr Fauci did not immediately rule out another lockdown.

He said Americans had to be willing to do ‘anything and everything’ to fight the new variant. 

In spring this year, the top doctor also declared the pandemic was over. He told PBS NewsHour in April that the US was ‘out of the pandemic phase’.

Days later he was forced to backtrack, saying that he he meant ‘the acute component of the pandemic phase’.

And many Americans were put off by his ongoing arrogance. He branded attacks on him by Republicans as ‘painfully ridiculous’, and said: ‘Attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science.’

One of Dr Fauci’s most well-known mistakes was keeping schools closed for too long.

Schools were shut in March 2020, and did not reopen until August.

Locked down at home, children missed out on vital mixing with their peers which would have allowed them to build up natural immunity to other illnesses.

Annual respiratory viruses largely disappeared amid lockdowns and mask orders during the Covid pandemic, but left many Americans — especially children — without proper immune defense against these viruses, leaving them vulnerable to a more severe infection.

Pediatric hospitals in Arizona, Rhode Island and Washington DC are now being overwhelmed by a recent surge is respiratory illnesses as this winter’s ‘tripledemic’ of Covid, flu and RSV slams the nation.

In October 2020, professors from Stanford, Harvard and Oxford published ‘The Great Barrington Declaration’, which championed herd immunity — the notion that Covid would stop spreading after everyone had contracted it.

The White House supported the paper, and used it to try and push for schools and businesses to be allowed to open back up.

But Dr Fauci dismissed the concept of herd immunity as ‘total nonsense’ and ‘ridiculous’, adding that it would ‘lead to hospitalizations and deaths’.

However, when reflecting on the decision to close schools, Dr Fauci told ABC News last month: ‘We should realize, and have realized, that there will be deleterious collateral consequences when you do something like that.

‘That’s the reason why I continually would say on any media appearances I’ve had: “We’ve got to do everything we can to keep the schools open.” The most important thing is to protect the children.’

He has also repeatedly insisted that Covid did not leak from a lab in China.

In April 2020 he dismissed the theory as a ‘shiny object that will go away’, and later brushed aside claims from other top experts as an ‘opinion’.

But evidence since built up that Covid may have leaked from a lab, rather than jumping from animals to humans as thought.

A US intelligence and WHO investigation have both failed to rule out the theory.

And Beijing has repeatedly frustrated attempts to access the Wuhan lab to investigate whether the virus did leak from the location.

Dr Fauci himself has also now backpedaled, saying instead that he keeps an ‘open mind’ although insisting that it remains ‘most likely’ that the virus spilled over from animals to humans.

When the Covid vaccine roll-out was in full swing, Dr Fauci told White House officials that there was little chance the double-jabbed would catch Covid.

He said the immunity from vaccines made them a ‘dead end’ for the virus, and even suggested they may no longer need to wear masks.

But when Omicron struck the US at the end of November it quickly became clear that two jabs did not block infection, although they did slash the risk of hospitalization and death.

America has now run several programs to ‘top up’ people’s immunity from jabs, including another this fall and winter.

Dr Fauci was also accused of funding risky research in the Chinese facility at the center of the lab leak theory.

Some allege that Dr Fauci, whose agency in 2014 issued a $3.7million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, directly contributed to the pandemic spread by providing funds that were used to support gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

EcoHealth issued WIV nearly $600,000 in sub-awards before the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suspended the grant in July 2020 due its controversial work, Vanity Fair reported.  

The Wall Street Journal reported in May that three researchers at the WIV fell ill with Covid-19 symptoms in November 2019 and sought hospital care, furthering the theory that the virus had originated in the lab.

Funding for gain-of-function research, the controversial practice of increasing a virus’ transmissibility or lethality to study the development of new diseases, was banned under President Obama in 2014. That decision three years later was overturned by the NIH.

And in a leaked email from 2020, disgraced scientist Dr Peter Daszak appeared to express gratitude to Dr Fauci for downplaying the theory that the Covid-19 was created in a lab but publicly stating the science did not support it.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk