The danger of COVID-19 misinformation is 'mind-boggling,' says Dr. Anthony Fauci

The danger of COVID-19 misinformation is 'mind-boggling,' says Dr. Anthony Fauci


My antivax and sick father took a covid test last week; it showed positive. His response? "That wasn't actually a covid test, it was a flu test that they've renamed as covid. There is no such thing as covid it's just the flu." There are some in this world so stupid, so stubborn, so illiterate, that they are simply beyond saving.


...why did he even take it in the first place?


I don't know that I've ever had the flu, but I was under the impression that its symptoms were pretty clear, particularly that it's sudden and horrible but is mostly gone in like 2 days. That seems pretty different from a slow onset and illness over perhaps 2 weeks, a loss of smell and taste to start, possible GI problems...? If he doesn't think the tests are real, why did he take one?


Flu can be a slow build up, and last for multiple weeks. Few years back I was out of commission for most of a 2 week period in March with it. I was like 35 at the time. A mild Covid case and the flu can look very similar, and have very similar symptoms, even with them being entirely different viruses with different tests to detect them.


for me personally covid was not as bad as the worst flu I had. Covid was about par with a bad cold.


Everyone has different experiences with COVID. I haven't caught it, and am now vaccinated with 2 moderna doses about 2 months apart so will probably only ever get a mild case like yours. But my cousin was out for a few weeks after getting it from a student where she teaches.




Imagine how frustrating this whole thing is for him. Dude is literally one of the most cited scientists in immunology of all time. 9th out of 2.5 million cited researchers between 1980 and 2021. [Source](https://www.niaid.nih.gov/about/anthony-s-fauci-md-bio). His h-index (metric of scholarly productivity) is 227. I'm a tenured professor at an R1 and my h-index is a fraction of that. And there are people who would rather listen to Bob from YouTube over him. The total scorn for expertise is absolutely terrifying for the future of this country.


I'm a 32 yr old with a STEM Degree that chose sales because I wasnt cut out to be a true scientist. The closest I ever came was ALMOST publishing one study. AND even I feel pain watching the decline of intelligence, and what is now literally disgust for it. The amount of people that understand how science and progress works is staggeringly low. I overheard someone at a training for one of our factories this week say "you know, and this isnt political, but I think the problem we have is people are way too educated. We need to normalize and teach kids its not a bad thing. We need to stop teaching them all this liberal crap"...


> AND even I feel pain watching the decline of intelligence, It was always there. The difference is that technology has given them a community that where they can enforce their beliefs and feel empowered to act out. And algorithms reinforce it.


> The amount of people that understand how science and progress works is staggeringly low...... [...but we can always hire some to do the heavy lifting ]( https://www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2019/july/us-first-in-math-competiton.html )


But if the unintelligent fear and outnumber the smart there’s an issue. And it isn’t even intelligence. It’s just the ability to critically think.


I think 40% of Americans are incapable of critical thinking. I know a young man with an MS in engineering, use to live in Portland WA, moved to Vancouver. He's not the last.


This! What has happened where the most esteemed, intelligent individuals in the world are now looked at like they’re idiots? The arrogance of the internet and being able to “do your own research” has changed so much of our lives.


This started well before the internet. I remember in school and in media in the 80s where athletes were revered and intellectuals were ridiculed. Now it has been elevated to distrust of intellectuals.


Not at all the same thing, but can't help it putting me in mind of an old joke from another time and place.. Why do Soviet policemen work in groups of three? One can read, one can write, the third is keeping an eye on the two dangerous intellectuals.


Been a while since I heard that one, got a laugh.


I'm stealing this joke and changing it from Soviet police to antivaxxers.


>What used to be a jocular and usually benign ridicule of intellect and formal training has turned into a malign resentment of the intellectual in his capacity as expert,” Hofstadter warned. “Once the intellectual was gently ridiculed because he was not needed; now he is fiercely resented because he is needed too much.” - Thomas M. Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters


I see it every time we're fed the opinion of a celebrity on a matter that is far beyond their scope of expertise. Ask an actor anything about acting, a musician about music, a model about fashion - but they don't get a seat at the table when it comes to science and medicine. And yet all the time I see headlines like "Tom Cruise gives interview about pandemic". I've heard it said that "we are entertaining ourselves to death" in that establishments which are supposed to be real serious business are being replaced by entertainment.


This right here! Thank u for saying it, i have been saying it for decades and no one listens. Praying this world gets smarter and starts listening to the people in those fields. But sadly wap seems to get more attention than anything else, and whatever she says so many follow, it is just…sad.


Cardi B? She got the vaccine. I think you mean Nicki Minaj. You can appreciate WAP and be a critical thinker. These things are mutually exclusive.


"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”"-Isaac Asimov -1980


Decades ago I was reading Gone with the Wind and there was a passage regarding this. When Scarlet was being courted by the two twins in the very beginning. The twins took great pride that they were wealthy and therefore discouraged from intellectual pursuits. The nerd in me was appalled. But apparently the cult of ignorance has existed here for hundreds of years.


I think the rise of the internet has even made it a bit more complicated. It is possible to know more about intellectuals than ever before because the internet has made it so people can seek topics out that interest them. This has contributed to a rise in some intellectuals being elevated among pop culture figures. Most people have an understanding of who Tesla or Marie Curie are now, for example. There are certain people you are just expected to know. For people who don't or may not have the best educational background, this is threatening. You have some people celebrating intellectual achievements, which is out of the reach of many people. "Nerd culture" is becoming acceptable which is threatening to the previous status quo. No one in power, be it political, financial, or social, likes giving up power.


>This has contributed to a rise in some intellectuals being elevated among pop culture figures This was especially the case around 2000, when the dot-com "geniuses" were the #1 cool guys. I recall hearing in the mid-to-late 2000s that there was a backlash forming; we just had no idea how far it would go. However, what's happening now has very long roots, and it seems more likely that they used the opportunity to raise support more than anything; it was a useful issue for whipping up resentment.


The Office has a great spoof of those early 2000s dot-com whiz kids in Ryan, I think.


U remember when the geniuses who started the dot com era didn’t goto college? Genius can happen without education for some things. The problem is interpretation. Do u remember the nerd movies? They tried to twist things and make fun of but the main point was the nerds (in the end) had the girls and the money. Most didn’t see the actual context of the movies only say them as funny. Needless to say, intelligence and academia are not hand in hand with certain professions. Which makes it harder for some to distinguish between science and other professions. One u need an education and the other u can self learn, needless to say there r some (very few) who r geniuses without ever going to school. And there r some career college students who are dumber than a box of rocks. What the main issue is, people watched the government lie to them for decades, so now they do not believe anything they say. Imagine (before the internet) ur told smoking cigarettes is healthy, or lead in gasoline and paint was safe, or deet kills everything but it completely safe in humans, or countless other drugs or chemicals they swore were safe, but now we know we were lied too. Now imagine being 60+, u have the internet where some doctors and scientists are speaking out about this virus and vax. In the past the few that spoke out had their lives ruined, and some killed, we witnessed it thru the years. Then they apologize and say that those scientists were correct, meanwhile they lost their reputations and worse for speaking up. Now we have the internet, where any c student scientist can speak up. And they r anti this and that. As a 60 yo who do u believe? The government, who lied to them their whole lives, and they lose their parents and loved ones from these chemicals? Or these scientists that the government is trying to shut down? Simple perception, find a way to talk with one another, esp those who do not trust the government, and help them to see that this is real, and even if we don’t know long term effects of the vaccine, the long term effects of covid are worse. Help them to not trust the government but at the least trust their kid, or parent, etc. Everyone can be saved if ppl stopped forcing things on one another and tried to communicate with them effectively.


A lot of that doubt was intentional manipulation by corporations that depended on that doubt for their profits, such as the tobacco companies. People at that level also did everything they could to make Reganomics the dominant economic theory, starting in the 70s (Regan was just the first to really make it happen). Now we can see where it was leading, and anti-intellectualism was (and is) a key part of it.


Yes but from their standpoint, (Mind u they didn’t have the education we have today) the government played a key role in all of it, and intentionally manipulating us thru companies and the government doing nothing about it, caused them not to trust anything. Think of the boy that yelled wolf. Eventually trust is broken regardless of how or why. They see politician kids working in these companies, so now they trust no one. I can’t blame them for this, this is what they witnessed for 50 yrs before the internet was big like it is now. Before information was everywhere, and even thou most do not believe everything they see online, if it gets enough attention they take note. Sadly now they are stopping grading in schools in some states. This is going to be the downfall of society, more stupidity, less education, less trade skills,etc. People are not going to push to try harder in school but just get by. Russia only accepts the top 25% after 5th grade, then 8th then in HS. They push kids to learn more and actually teach them why they have to learn. They show them the life they can have if educated and the life they won’t have if not. We do not explain this to our children in school, we expect them to figure it out. If we did, maybe our kids would try harder and do better. Then we would have more educated people in this society, and less thinking everything is a lie.


It's exactly the same forces that are trying to gut the school system. But yeah, corporations have spent decades taking control of politics. Hopefully, we'll be able to reverse some of that.


Let’s hope, I think since they have been throw into the light (literally) and enough whistle blowers have come forward it will end soon. But who knows, they r maniacal and only care about the all mighty dollar, so they’ll figure out a way to capitalize on anything they can, even our lives, like they do now.


>Most people have an understanding of who Tesla or Marie Curie are now, for example. What do electric cars and frozen pot pies have to do with misinformation?


Well the fact you can't cook one with the other probably has something to do with it.


Ta tum tss!




> nobody believes that we could not hire the qualified high-end engineers come with decent math background in States Texas A&M University literally restructured their engineering degree and have freshman go into a “Freshman Engineering” major for year 1 of the engineering degree before you’re allowed to declare and specialize the engineering field of your choosing for this specific problem: most US students weren’t up to where the industry needed them to be on math. When I found out that’s why the program was restructured that way, I lost all faith in the American education system. 🙃


I do not believe you, boeing never has trouble they recruit grads from all the top schools,my freind is a engineer manager there and recruits for them


The Death of Expertise by Tom Nichols, got this a while ago and trying to get thru it now https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Death_of_Expertise


[Reality-based community 2004 ]( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality-based_community )


That was a really good book! I thought he made a lot of good points.


Especially when "doing your own research" amounts to little more than screenshots of imgur posts Back in the day when the internet was still young, these same people would criticize me for looking something up on wikipedia, because "anyone can put anything they want up on the net". they forgot their own advice


“Do your own research” is the stupidest phrase in the English language at this point. Too many people think the internet is the same as the non-fiction section of the library and that everything is 100% factual so all they have to do is find ONE website that they THINK says what they want to believe and they will quote it as 100% fact even if 100 others say the complete opposite.


"Do your own research" to them actually means "look up the unproven and anecdotal statements I like to see". In the olden days, "doing your own research" involves: Identifying an issue, coming up with a hypothesis, devising experiments to prove the hypothesis, developing experiments, running through a series of tests, compiling statistics, publishing the test methods and result statistics for peer review, collaborating with other researchers to achieve test result reproduction, then publishing a theory, possible applications, and possibly recommendations for government regulations. This is kindof important because literally everything around us is based on science that was implemented by people who were doing research that way. Otherwise we wouldn't have modern transportation, communication, medicine, or even fertilizer to grow our food. But I guess that's quaint and outmoded .... Uncle Bob on Facebook definitely knows that "doing research" thing better than the college-educated eggheads


Because admitting that other people are smarter than me or better than me at something makes me feel bad. We're a nation of coddled, fragile egos.


[ We're a nation of coddled, fragile egos. ]( https://media-cldnry.s-nbcnews.com/image/upload/MSNBC/Components/Video/201909/n_ari_sharpie_190904_1920x1080.jpg )


I'm in skilled trades, and it's taught by having someone more experienced and better than you mentoring you, until you can do the same for someone new, so that attitude has to take the backseat. But before trades, I was in engineering, and that's how it was. I'm a lot better off now, financially, too. Plus I get to build stuff all day *and* if I'm good I get to use the plasma cutter. :) I've met some of the smartest people I know in trades. And some of the most inspirational and they've pushed me out of my comfort zone, and without that, I wouldn't have gone anywhere. People will not hesitate to tell you you suck, or you're great.


There's plenty of fragile egos in the trades, one issue I find is that because people tend to get really good at *one specific thing* (ie their trade) they think this extends to most things.


When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent. The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.


>the most esteemed, intelligent individuals in the world are now looked at like they’re idiots You say "now" but we've been cultivating anti-intellectualism for decades. TV shows like [Happy Days](https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0070992) painted the book-smart character as a "nerd" or "square" or "bookworm", and rarely in a positive light. They also had a "cool" character who was "street-smart" and sometimes resorts to brute force to solve problems. Even with a show or movie where the "nerdy" character is the *main* character, you typically get at least one scene where they are bullied, and their attacker is usually depicted as handsome, strong, and successful -- in a school, the bully is usually the football star; outside of that, they might be an astronaut or high ranking military figure. In Billy Joel's song [*It's Still Rock and Roll To Me*](https://youtu.be/5eAQa4MOGkE) you get lyrics like this: > Should I try to be a straight 'A' student? If you are then you think too much Don't you know about The new fashion honey? All you need are looks And a whole lotta money


This right here. We as a society have celebrated ignorance. Just look at pop culture.


Well, more that people celebrate and aspire to be what they believe they can achieve. Most people do not have the capacity to be a top scientist. They do however have the competence to be a pop star, at least they view it as possible to some extent. People see the intellectual types as a touch holier than thou and in a status that is inherently unattainable. Hell, I know I’m not capable of being an intellectual, and to truly understand everything they present. I’m also not interested in dreaming above my capacity. So I can respect their opinion when weighing my own ability and relative lack of expertise against there’s.


With good studying technique and a whole lot of hard work, you’d be surprised at what you can achieve intellectually. Don’t sell yourself short.


I think it's more because people, by and large, have a desire to be well-known and loved, and then you see that with popstars and athletes and actors, and less that people don't think they can achieve in an intellectual field. If society anf the media system showed as much reverence for scientists and mathematicians and engineers, I think we'd have a bigger group of young people wanting that


Simple. The technical experts have colleagues who work to systematically point out social injustices, so ‘Real America’ decided that anyone with any kind of expertise is The Enemy.


Stupid people have a very hard time with the idea that there are things that they don’t know or don’t have the ability to know. So when they hear something that is confusing their impulse is to dismiss it as wrong or a lie. They can understand the you tube “research” so they decide it must be true.


Because they don't understand that plants crave electrolytes


> This! What has happened where the most esteemed, intelligent individuals in the world are now looked at like they’re idiots? Lots and lots of stupid people with a supersized social media on the side.


This has been the case since forever. It's not as if the American populace was ever particularly smart. Mencken was born in 1880. >On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. H. L. Mencken


Exactly! Seems they would rather listen to "patriots" and "real news" since science (in their opinion) has been "polluted". I am surrounded by this. smh


Yeah but did he publish his research results as Facebook memes, so the independent thinkers can verify and share them?


It's actually a lost cause, I would say. The culture of ignorance is winning. Plan your futures wisely.


A decent chunk of Americans don't A. Understand how scientific publications work and B. Don't understand how significant it is to be cited like that. I can understand not knowing how to read certain scientific publications. They can be dense and hard to follow. However, a lot of people think they work the same way as standard news publications and therefore give them the same amount of regard- which is not much when you are yelling "fake news" at everything. That science is fluid and changing seems to be a hard pill for many to swallow. They want black and white, easily digestible information and don't understand why that is just not possible when dealing with a novel virus. They also don't understand why 2 different studies may seem to contradict each other but both actually be accurate because there's dozens of little nuances. And trying to explain retracted studies is just a whole different ballpark altogether


He may be one of the most cited scientists in immunology, but my anti-vaxx repost on Facebook got 98 likes last night soooo let me know when he’s on my level 💁🏻‍♀️ /s


To an extent, Fauci's accolades are part of what makes a lot of anti-vaxxers distrust him. He's "part of the establishment" to them, and they reject anything he has to say *because* he's well-respected by the mainstream. These people are so desperate to reject mainstream thinking (in part because they've been rejected themselves by the endless onslaught of growing inequality), that they innately distrust him, and turn to any other source of alternative facts.


I'm some sort of a scientists myself, post on Faceblok frequently?


The idea that science is some sort of liberal agenda is what's mind boggling to me.


Yeah, but early in the pandemic, when we didn't know X yet, he said Y, so explain that!


Literally this is a reason I was given by a friend. "He lied about the masks and lost all credibility." Like... they still latch onto something from March 2020 and pretend that nothing has changed since then.


I hate that! He didn't lie, he didn't know. They thought covid was spread by touch at the beginning, people were going nuts buying disinfectants and such, articles saying it could live on a surface for 72 hours, if you touched it, then your nose or mouth, you were infected. He said masks should go to health care workers, since there was a huge shortage of PPE at first. People were wearing gloves everywhere, later redacted. Then, as it progressed and they learned more on how the virus spread, masks were encouraged, the CDC showed how to make them. Now you can buy fabric or procedure ones everywhere. A Canadian company that was non essential started making PPE to help out, so people didn't get laid off, too. My mom sews, and she works from home, started making masks for $3-10 (depending.on fabric, she got sports teams in cotton, which was pretty expensive. People would email the money, she'd put the masks into plastic bags with her label and their name into our mailbox and contact free pickup! Then a few local stores started selling them and she was making 50 a day!) based on CDC guidelines, which changed literally every week. It's a novel virus. People can't accept we still don't know a lot about it. We learn more daily though, thanks to doctors and researchers like Dr Fauci, who is a literal hero. He has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and that's the highest honkur a civilian can receive, after AIDS.


People want their preconceived notions, no matter how cretinous and vile, to be validated. Between that and, as I already said, a disturbing number of people viewing admitting having erred as a sign of weakness thus it must be avoided at all costs, small wonder they listen to some mentally ill shit stain online and not a researcher who says "you are utterly wrong, here are the reasons why "


Fauci is so highly respected and loved by so many scientists and science-minded people. It boggles my mind to see such widespread hate for him, I don't understand it at all. I have heard many times from random people that his "leaked emails" show that he is lying about everything, when in reality those emails show nothing but a very dedicated, rigorous, intelligent individual doing his job to the best of his ability. It's like just the fact that "leaked emails" exist makes dumb people assume he's hiding something, without even asking what he would be hiding and where, actually, is the evidence of this?


> And there are people who would rather listen to Bob from YouTube over him. I'm more concerned with Joe on Spotify, but yeah.


What's got to be even more frustrating is most of the policy setting really isn't his job.


Unfortunately expertise doesn't translate into good communication skills. I feel like Fauci has been a meek voice during the whole pandemic. The more intelligent among us knew how to handle COVID. Fauci needed to be grabbing the microphone at every opportunity and shouting simple instructions at the slow kids in back who are dragging down the class average. At every step, he has completely missed communicating with what should be his target audience, i.e. the anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, and COVID hoaxers.


That was kind of impossible when President Turdbag was around. Poor Fauci was doing what he could while wearing a target on his back. If there was a mike to grab, it was the president's, and his alone, and we well know that couldn't have happened even once. Fauci would have been out on his ass in a moment, and his crucial role would have gone unfilled. Keep in mind though that in spite of it, Fauci never stopped. He would sign up for podcast after podcast, and for any appearance on TV that was just outside the orange monster's attention. He worked really hard for us, however he could. Also, remember that it wasn't until Biden was in office that Fauci could tell Rand Paul loudly and clearly that Paul needed to stuff the shit back into his mouth and keep it there. No way that could have happened prior.


I actually think that his whole problem has been that he tries too hard to provide simple, concrete answers to those people, and ends up cutting out way too much nuance. I think he needed to stick to the complex and nuanced science, and let leaders and communicators break it down into simple rules, guidelines, and explanations that suit those people. Too many times he should have stuck to things like: "with what we see now, we recommend \[x\], but we continue to study..." -- just as experts have always done. I think a lot of people take communication for granted, but breaking complex ideas down to simplified terms *well* is a whole skill set unto itself; communication is a whole field of study. As frustrated as I get with the things that he and the other experts say (I 100% agree with your sentiment), I also think they were forced into this position with the last administration. I don't know what really would have happened if they completely changed their messaging a year into it. However, I think there are communication/PR experts that could probably have found a way to bridge the gap. The fact that every state and country is fending for themselves (instead of strong federal and international coordination) also likely makes it a no-win situation.


You need to understand he was walking a tightrope when Trump was in office. If he said something Trump didn't like, then he might get moved to the background. Trump put him in an untenable situation, and meek is not a word I'd use to describe him.


He has given his all to have folks acting a fool. And seeming to enjoy digging in their heels as they prolong this pandemic . The ripples will be felt for a very long time. There are apparently enough stupid people in the world to nope us right out of the universe and they very well may.


But he's not in 1st place for the most cited researcher, so therefore he can't be trusted! /s In all honesty, I'm curious to know who is the most cited researcher in the world.


A quick google says Michel Foucault has the highest number of citations which was 985524 , h-index of 292 and i10-index which was1641 . But apparently this has nothing to do with immunology


It is politics that make him look bad. I think it would be enormously frustrating to have to pander to the political desires of whatever the current administration thinks for decades. I do not believe he has ever been able actually say what he believes about covid. Policy is all over the place and it really seems to be based on data.


>The total scorn for expertise is absolutely terrifying for the future of this country. More like the future of humanity. We need to all come together to solve global warming, and we can't even agree there's a global pandemic happening.


"I think what people have to appreciate is that indeed you do have personal liberties for yourself and you should be in control of that. But you are a member of society, and as a member of society, reaping all the benefits of being a member of society, you have a responsibility to society.  And I think each of us — particularly in the context of a pandemic that's killing millions of people — you have got to look at it and say, there comes a time when you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society." This used to be a principle the US believed in. The American Revolution was not individuals putting their own individualism above others. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Washington declining to be president for life were not about putting your own benefit above preventing harm to others.


this is "we live in a society" anyway, first world problems as they say. I think we should all take a good long look at WallE


The founding fathers' idea of freedom meant "freedom from oppression of the government". Never was freedom in the US intended to become "freedom to do whatever the heck I want at your expense". Honestly, this fallacy lies at the heart of every major societal issue facing the US today, left and right. People have a warped view of freedom itself.


It's like they take the word freedom as a synonym to anarchy and chaos. I can do what I want because of freedom....fuck your societal constructs and laws...a mild inconvenience is clearly akin to being in the most extreme dictatorship known to man. You are absolutely on point /u/LukeLC and in my heart of hearts, I'd love to believe that many more people are centrists that understand the give and take of society but somehow we've started getting dictated by the extremes that sow just enough seeds of doubt to allow stuff like this misinformation and fighting to occur. I'm honestly at a loss on how to reverse course on this moving forward.


It is a society of toddlers


It's easier to raise a child than fix an adult. We need a new generation of parents who are *parents*, not tyrants, not shields, and not enablers. A child's first taste of their role in society starts with their role in the home. What they learn to expect there is what they'll expect from society as adults.


No joke, do you know of any books/resources that help parents do this?


Parents have to *want* to do this. The problem is those children are all being raised by already broken adults.


That part. Half the parents in America seem to be intent on raising their children with hate, intolerance, and willful ignorance.


This question kind of gave me pause. You know what, I'm actually not sure. But I feel like I should find some that can communicate what I've learned the hard way. My own parents weren't the best example, but I was lucky enough to find other examples out there who helped me see what a real parent should be like (even if they weren't trying to teach me). The simplest way I can put it is, with every decision you make as a parent, you should be asking yourself: what's going to help make my kid the best version of themselves that they can be? (Note: *not* "the best version of *myself* that they can be.") It might sound shallow, but I promise it's not. Sometimes it means teaching (which is a three step process: "I do, we do, you do") and sometimes it means letting go so they develop their own independence. Building practical competence, social integrity, critical thinking, and emotional maturity is incredibly nuanced. No parent is going to be perfect at it, but at least communicating those values will give kids a fighting chance. And I guarantee you they're not learning any of that in our current education system. Actually, a book on each subtopic I mentioned there might be more in order than a book about parenting itself. I'll have to think on that one!


I like to call those folks self supremacists


The founding fathers had public gun fights with each other. The founding fathers committed genocide. The founding fathers owned other humans and engaged in sex trafficking. Women were expected to be subservient to their husbands. Only white male property owners could vote, not natives, not women, not blacks. The idea that the founding fathers were experts on freedom and human rights is a myth.


And we have our own vices we could spend all day listing out. One of the problems with our current climate is that it seems if someone is ever wrong about *something*, they are discredited about *everything*. This is the real myth. You can learn from history without emulating it or dismantling it. A forgotten skill, these days.


Agreed. If you aren't making mistakes, you aren't learning. And on the other side of the coin, if you think everything you do is perfect, you're never going to improve.


>this fallacy lies at the heart of every major societal issue facing the US today Wouldn't go that far. There are plenty of major societal issues that have nothing to do with misunderstanding personal freedom.


Good point. It's interesting, Ben Franklin had a saying that went something like do well by doing good. They had a belief that we are all free, and had a responsibility to work towards benefiting society.


Yeah after watching people that toilet paper like gold, I can’t imagine the reaction of people today if they were asked/ordered to ration items like during WW2.


I can’t imagine the reaction of people today if they were asked/ordered to ration items in the coming years because of Global Warming


If it was actually about freedom, the anti-vax/anti-mask crowd would have serious qualms with something like, oh I don’t know, the Draft, but it’s not so they don’t.


I don't understand how this isn't clearly correlative to "your right to swing your fist ends at my face." Nobody has the "freedom" to put other people's lives in jeopardy. And isn't it natural for babies to get a bunch of vaccines for their own safety as well as the good of society? How did all these conservatives get so far in life without graduating from their diapers, that now they're all throwing temper tantrums because they have to get a shot to *save people's lives?*


Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean you have to do it. I got the vaccine and still retain the right not to do so. This is childish.


Not only that, but the whole "I'm not against vaccines, I just don't like being told what to do" argument is just staggeringly dumb. It's the logic of a toddler. Nobody *likes* being told what to do. Nobody. But if someone is telling you to do something and you know it's wrong, then you object on those grounds and explain why you think it's wrong. If you're being told what to do and it's something you wouldn't have a problem with anyway, then just fucking do it, because it doesn't matter that someone is telling you to do it.


Ironically, if someone they identified with told them to do something, even if it were very stupid and involved bleach, they would believe it. These people are the opposite of integrity.


The obligation to society is what I was talking about. Rights come with responsibilities.


Because if you don't meet your responsibilities, society doesn't have any obligation to you.


Yes but what if you avoid the vaccine, catch a Covid that you would have otherwise avoided (with a high but not total probability), infect someone that you wouldn't have infected, and that person dies? Or someone close to them after the infections chain goes on. I have not a problem with people that want to retain their liberty on medical treatments. But freedom shall come with accountability. What exactly makes you feel you have the right to put at a higher risk people around you? It's literally the same as drunk driving. Your freedom is valid as long as it doesn't hurt others. And that is valid for masks too. Obviously, if the bad happens even after taking all the necessary precautions, that's unfortunate, but that will be way rarer than people who just don't care, go around when infected, unvaccinated and without mask on the face. Being unvaxxed statistically kills or puts other people in the hospital, of course, when the person gets in social environments. But since we usually are social, viral infections have not to be taken as an individual discourse. Epidemics are things you get out from together, not with individuals each doing their own decisions.


What is annoying is that we can all plainly see that these people are avoiding medical treatments simply b/c they are quasi-mandated. It's childish rebellion.


It’s “we the people…” not “we the armies of one”


Or even more recently, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."


If I hear one more high-school dropout saying they "did their own research" I'm going to blow a gasket. Really Janice, how did you find time to perform your own virology experiments in between waitressing at IHOP and raising 5 kids?


To be fair - having 5 kids and spending any amount of time at an ihop would give her a ton of first hand experience with every germ imaginable :) /s, mostly but ihop is gross.


In my country they are often not even working, yet claim to know better about vaccines, immunology, medicine... etc


People like to feel important. Most of the arm chair experts I know who go hard on their opinions tend to be lacking in parts of their life that lead to fulfilment. Career, education, relationships, family etc… it’s not often the hardcore flavour of the month opinionists are well developed and balanced people, something is usually missing and feeling smarter or having strong uneducated opinions gives them some semblance of being important or competent.


In contrast, actual arm chair experts should definitely be listened to when it comes to the crafting and manufacturing of arm chairs. They are the experts after all.


LeBron James did his own research.


But they are educated now, they got a degree from Prager U!


I'm not american so I don't understand much about this - is Fauci the "good guy" regarding COVID?


He’s the world renowned scientist who is one of the top experts on infectious diseases. He’s been a great communicator and asset for the US. He’s absolutely one of the good guys. Bad actors have been trying to take every slight hint of a misstep and destroy his legacy. I think he and his family have even received threats.


Yeah. Lots of people who aren’t experts and are simply contrarians like to bang on about his mistakes and fail to acknowledge his successes, of which there are many many more than his failures. Anyone who’s in a position of expertise to the public gets derided like this. Hell I’m sure I’m guilty as well of doing so. But the stuff with Fauci has been utterly mind blowing. It’s one thing to comment and point out a mistake, it’s another to ignore a lifetimes work and all his efforts to save lives because your politically angry.




I’m not even a fauci fan or whatever but I specifically remember in March that medical professionals were saying that it was likely transmitted by touch and that we should be wearing gloves and not masks, but then later they found that masks were more important than gloves. It seems to me like saying he lied is a bit of a stretch, and even if he did say we shouldn’t buy masks so as to reserve masks for doctors and health care workers, I don’t see how that is something that discredits him as a medical professional


I also remember this. All the talk was about sanitizing surfaces. I remember ordering things off Amazon those first few weeks of lock down and wondering if I was being stupid by wiping the boxes down before bringing them inside. I also very clearly remember them specifically saying that they didn't think masks were particularly effective, *and also* that health care workers needed them just in case so no one should be rushing out to buy them just yet. Whether that's a lie or lack of knowledge and communication between countries at the beginning of the global spread, I think the guy above you is trying to subtly push a narrative, hoping people won't remember what was actually communicated.


I find it hard to trust him after that whole debacle. I wouldn't believe what he says without verifying it against other sources/experts first. And I'm pro-vaccine, I'm vaccinated, I wear masks, etc. I can only imagine how much that damaged his trustworthiness for the deeply skeptical (and uninformed). > In the clip, Dr Fauci says “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.” https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-fauci-outdated-video-masks-idUSKBN26T2TR Imo, this has caused untold amounts of damage that the US still hasn't recovered from.


A frustrating part of that is that he did it to prevent people going out and panic buying masks, but by then N-95s and similar were already long gone from hardware stores, as companies and people with foresight saw this coming well before that. They could/should have gone hard into recommending cloth masks from day 1.


I ignored him and wore a mask made out of an old t-shirt, because it was obviously nonsense from day 1. Imagine all the people who listened to Fauci, didn't wear a mask, caught covid, and died as a result? He showed a common elitist attitude in America - we can't trust the people with the truth, so we'll lie for their own good. And then people are surprised when huge sections of the population have lost trust in government.


To be fair, a large segment of our population are uneducated morons who would cut off their noses to spite their faces if push comes to shove.


I'm really confused by the US on this issue. In our country the government was honest, pragmatic, transparent and consistent from the beginning. If they didn't knew something they said as much. If the data was not yet conclusive they said why and what the specialists expect to happen next. Knowledge improved and some assumptions were wrong but that was admitted, explained and corrected. We have a 2 hour live television transmission from the seat of government where the health minister and the leading scientists explain the current situation and what will happen next. People here are annoyed by some measures but they understand why they are in place, why some have been lifted and others stay in place. Not really rocket science. Example for masks: The government said at the very beginning of the pandemic that masks do most likely protect to some degree (by how much was unclear since there was no data available at that point) but urged the people to not buy them currently because they are needed my health professionals and people in contact with vulnerable people. Once the supply of masks was secured they urged the people to use them and later mandated their use in certain situations.


It’s a zero sum game for a lot of people in the US. They don’t understand nuance at all. Either the masks work 100% or 0%. Either the vaccine prevents 100% or 0%. So to the people that hear “you can still get the virus even with the vaccine” they think “what’s the point” and alongside being fed the misinformation that vaccines are a cocktail of chemicals that can have adverse side effects, even up to the point of killing, they would rather “take their chances” - even though vaccine technology has been tried and true for over 200 years.


This. Anything from 0.1 to 99.9% effectiveness is apparently 0% to these people, and surely if the vaccines were 100% effective, someone out there in some corner of the internet would make something up to discredit the effectiveness of said vaccine, share it on Facebook, and suddenly have half the antivaxx community behind that fallacy Vaccine hesitancy was understandable, since never before had the public known of another virus or illness that was around for only ~1 year before a vaccine was pushed out for it. But at the same time, the CDC would only allow vaccines that are above 70% efficacy (70% less likely to be infected with the illness after exposure) to be used on the general public. Why is coming together to fight for a cause so hard? Everyone wants the pandemic to end. Those who followed the guidelines are getting tired of hearing "just a two week quarantine" "just another month" "vaccines will end this" for almost two years now. Those who don't believe the pandemic is real are tired of the "lies of the government to keep us under control" and "not wanting to be microchipped." Why can't we work together?


To add to that, they throw out the baby with the bath water. They read about some sort of out of the norm event (ie exception reporting of someone dying after getting a vaccine, for example), and they shout out “see?!?! It doesn’t work” while conveniently ignoring the overwhelming majority of positive data


Now that you mention it. I have often wondered about that. I categorized it as Americans being "intense" or "extreme" but maybe it is just the lack of subtlety in the dissemination of information. Sure, I know plenty of people around me with the same issue so this is not "an American thing" for sure but maybe the prominence differs between cultures. We were told and shown (reference to studies) by the government and scientists from the beginning that vaccination is never a 100% effective and never a 100% safe. Of course it isn't. How could it be? That's not how reality works. But it was made very clear that the chances of an adverse effect of getting Covid versus getting the Vaccine and then maybe getting Covid (the chance of that happening is already significantly diminished by the vaccine itself) are very different. And yes, they said that the long term effects of the vaccine are unclear but that all currently available data suggest no significant difference to other vaccines. At the end of the day it is a matter of trust I suppose since nobody is really able to verify all claims. I would need to get a degree or at least the education of an virologist, pandemic specialist, medical doctor, lung specialist, immunologist and several others to check all of it myself. No matter how far along the knowledge track you are at the end of the day you have to either trust or not trust someone. However I'm not sure if I would trust that Fauci guy. He seems severely impressed by himself and more like a spokesperson and manager than an actual accomplished scientist or specialist. But that's just my impression from a few interviews I saw.


Points to one case of an infected person killed in car accident adding to the death toll. Ignores the massive pile of people dying of respiratory illness that were never tested/autopsied, and so don't add to the death toll.


> The government said at the very beginning of the pandemic that masks do most likely protect to some degree (by how much was unclear since there was no data available at that point) but urged the people to not buy them currently because they are needed my health professionals and people in contact with vulnerable people. In the US, if you tell people not to buy something to save for the elderly or immunocompromised, people will rush out and line up in order to stockpile as evidenced by toilet paper, meat, eggs etc. If the government had released vaccines to everyone and simply asked people to wait until the elderly and front line workers were vaccinated first....EVERYONE would have rushed out and lined up for vaccination. It was only when they allowed those who needed vaccinations more to go first, like some kinda socialist country, that people decided they didn't want it.


I live in an area of the US where only half the people are vaccinated. Vaccine doses are expiring or going unused and being tossed every day.


Well, decades of governmental lies and cover-ups in America have given the population every right to mistrust what they say. Just look up some of the things that are declassified that the CIA has done to it's own people and others. The US government has been sowing distrust for decades. It's not the populations fault that they have distrust for them.


It really is. I had anesthesia once and they made me sign a contract that said I had a 1 in 200,000 chance of dying and I was scared despite the odds being overwhelmingly in my favour. Covid odds are much worse and people are actively not following simple medical advice for a multitude of reasons I can't quite wrap my head around and rolling dice with their own and other people's lives. Get vaxxed folks.




That specific anesthesia.




Yeah, it's similar to the logical flaw of playing the lottery. Edit: Being very rough with numbers, about 1 in 600 Americans have died from Covid. Just something to compare to my irrational fear of 1 in 200,000.


It really is. You have at this point a hundred thousand people who have voluntarily died because they're consuming so much misinformation. They're damaging the economy, destroying their families and they're righteous about it. They're unknowingly footsoldiers in an information war against the US and against humanity.


So nobody knows of someone who's had adverse reactions to the covid vaccine? Anyone worried about it?


My daughter, sick as a dog, but that might mean she had great immune reaction before and certainly now even better.


Maybe it's the side effects of the dose? I took my first dose last month and had inflammation of the heart. It hurt pretty bad it was scary. Not gonna take the 2nd one. Then a week later I get covid for the first time after all this. what Almost 2 years now?


if you are young..totally common to get the heart thing , moderna? I think that is the best vaccine but has that issue. Getting covid with no protection is very bad, in most cases what you experience with the vaccine might be scary but is not as bad as covid with no prior vaccination.


Even more mind-boggling that more than half of it has come from him. But hey, how bout them wet markets?


Well, he aught to know.




that and his GOF research push and helping to establish corona virus research in Wuhan and then lying about the entire thing from the beginning.


Basically the graduates of The School of Hard Knocks have convinced themselves for generations that higher education is a hoax. So every time an expert unravels any part of their tightly-wound fairy tale of a worldview, their delusions cause angry, nonsensical responses.


I sense large quantities of irony in this comment.




It’s a bunch of petulant children screaming “You can’t tell me what to do!!!!”


I work for a *very* well known IT / software company and, based on what I've seen, they don't hire just anybody, so to say I'm glad to be there is like saying water is wet. When said company announced "Vaccine mandate kicks in for all American employees, we don't care if you work from home", the resulting email thread was gobsmacking. People comparing it to the Holocaust. People quoting me saying "\~708,000 dead and counting from this accursed plague just in the United States" and saying shit like "Well what about all the people dead from the vaccines!?" and "So what if I don't want to get vaccinatd? You're vaccinated, you're safe" and other ignorant horse shit and/or bad faith arguing. It got so bad that a VP came in not once but *twice* and shut down the thread. There is no reasoning with people who view admitting they made a mistake and learning from said mistake not as signs of wisdom and humility but weakness and timidity, and let's not forget the tribalization of politics. A new email came out two days ago saying that they will review requests for exemptions but they expect approved exceptions to be exceedingly rare. And to that I say **GOOD**. Make these assholes fulfill their societal obligations or fire them with cause. Put away the carrots and bop them on the head with sticks until they get with the program. If they wind up homeless because no one will hire them because they refuse to get microchipped and harvested for George Soros' bodily fluids storage tanks? Fuck 'em, no sympathy from me.


What kind of well-known IT company do you work at that allows reply-all on company-wide emails lol


A made up fake one that they've used to invent a fantasy around




"Fulfill their societal obligations" - This might have been an actual argument if these vaccines actually greatly reduced transmission by providing sterilizing immunity. Hate to burst your bubble, but they don't. This is evident based on the data from places such as Israel, Gibraltar and Singapore, where there is a very high vaccination rate, yet they experienced even greater case totals than ever before in some cases.


Maybe if you or the CDC had any ounce of consistent messaging, or if the government provided ANY consistent messaging especially in the beginning and interim of this pandemic time - it would be alot less. It's honestly all on them. Why should I have to turn to Google to know basic things about the vaccine when the government could have released more than several "infomercials" about it?


I don't think that the CDC was able to provide any consistent messaging at the start of the pandemic because they were all afraid of losing their jobs and being replaced by yes-men if they told the unvarnished truth. Most of the interview clips I saw in spring to summer of 2000 with Fauci were basically news anchors trying to bait him into dissing Trump out loud about COVID policy for clickbait. The only really good interview with him from that time was with This Week in Virology in [July 2020](https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-641/) where they talked science for half an hour. It's interesting to see what he said that we did or did not know (or was willing to make an educated guess about) about at that time.


The government, at that time, was being run by anti-intellectuals, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, and conspiracy buffs. (It's not *just* the US having that problem, but it was worst here last year.) Multiple world leaders downplaying the potential severity of the virus, fudging the numbers to favor self-aggrandizement over the truth, intentionally hamstringing efforts by scientists and medical personnel to contain it. We have allowed the system to empower people who put greed and narcissism over the welfare of the world and the things that live on it.


The guy who created operation warp speed on the vaccine and is touting about it and how he's father vaccine now? That administration???


If you are upset that something is said one week but then changed the next I regret to inform you that that is just how science works when you are building foundational knowledge from scratch and there is a huge cost in failing to act quickly. Public health can only act on the best data we have at any given time. If new data comes in afterwards that shakes up the understanding of the problem at hand then the messaging must change to reflect the new body of knowledge. We can only do the best we can with what we know on any given day. Throw in a bunch of opportune political talking heads that take things out of context or only report the information that is convenient for their goals and views and you have the mess that we have now.


Coming from the guy that has given out more misinformation than most people, don't wear masks they don't work, now wear 2 masks, than claims he was only saying masks don't work to protect 1st responders. Than he said one dose of vaccine was enough now than he said 2 now he's saying 3. At 1st he said people that already Bhar coivid wouldn't have to get the vaccine because they would already have natural antibodies and there would be herd immunity and now that's not thing. The guy has been full of shit all his career. This is the same guy that your children could get aids by touching a cereal box!










Fox News and CNN really need to quit putting their political take on this and just let people make informed health decisions with their bodies with the counsel of a doctor. The fact that individual health has become so political is an embarrassment to society as a whole.


Honestly I don’t think we should have just Fouci. I think it would be a lot more credible if there were at least 3 of him. It s a lot of work. The thing is he’s even been caught contradicting himself. This is bad. Really bad. And it’s what people are latching on to. If there were 3 of him, then it would be a lot easier to trust them, even if they didn’t entirely agree.


That's the problem - I trust the overall body of science around the vaccines. I am fully vaccinated. However, our front man for all this sciencey goodness has been all over the place with his messaging. That's a terrible look and especially impactful to people who were on the fence about the vaccine. The guy may be a great scientist but he is shitty at his job.


fauci himself spread misinformation in the beginning of the pandemic so he’s part of the problem


Yep! They hoarded masks when they told the public that our masks weren't necessary.


Does that include when the CDC and FDA continue to contradict each other and themselves? The other day the CDC recommended kids wear masks even if they're vaccinated.


The CDC currently recommends EVERYONE wear masks even if vaccinated.


All this boils down to failure in education.






Facts < money < agenda


Yeah especially the information coming from the CDC


I blame politicians and politics




F Dr Fauci & FJB


If he only lied half as much, maybe something he said would come off as credible.


This the same guy who was telling us to not wear masks during the early part of the pandemic?


Says the guy that started the pandemic with "don't wear masks".


Anthony Fauci is a hero for the role he played in multiple public health crises during his career, ~~especially the HIV epidemic~~, and nothing can take that away from him, but this is ironic. He's arguably been a net negative during the COVID era because of his role eroding public trust by spreading misinformation about crucial pandemic topics \[1\]: The early **dismissal of masks**. The story is complicated, but it is clearly not simply a matter of evolving science. As Slate's writers put it in "The Noble Lies of COVID-19": >One thing is beyond a doubt, however: One of those two statements \[on masks\] did not accurately reflect the evidence as Fauci saw it. Such high-profile mixed messages in a short time frame, without substantive new data to justify the change, generated confusion and a backlash from politicians, other experts, and the general public. His knowingly false (by his own words!) **estimates of the herd immunity threshold**. Some part of these revisions were related to new data, but [as Donald McNeil wrote in the New York Times](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/24/health/herd-immunity-covid-coronavirus.html), Fauci had been deliberately withholding his real analysis: >Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. 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. Other times, he just admits to being concerned with the consequences of communicating the truth, rather than disseminating knowledge. For example, in early 2021, [he said of switching to a "first shots first" strategy](https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/03/01/fauci-defends-two-shot-strategy/): >We’re telling people \[two shots\] is what you should do … and then we say, ‘Oops, we changed our mind’?” Fauci said. “I think that would be a messaging challenge, to say the least.” I mean ... he's right, but if you're paying attention and reading that in March 2021, it's becoming increasingly harder to take anything he says at face value anymore. TL;DR: Hero scientist undermines Americans' trust in experts during COVID.\[1\] It's hard to say with certainty, because it's difficult to assess how important he was to reining in Trump. \[1\] It's hard to say with certainty, because it's difficult to assess how important he was to reining in Trump. **Edit** struck my statement endorsing the contributions Fauci made to fighting HIV. His role is more contested than I remembered, and therefore detracts from the point I want to make.


Fauci was hardly the hero during the HIV heyday that he is portrayed as. The gay community was furious with him for not giving enough attention to what was happening. They literally had to have a sit in inside his office to get him to listen to them.




I know right. Imagine someone first saying Americans shouldn't be wearing masks they don't help and then saying Americans should be wearing masks, even double or triple masks. How confusing would that be if someone said this!




I'm immune compromised, high risk and disabled. I am fully vaccinated and just don't understand why perfectly healthy people are so afraid of it. I bet these are the same people that get flu vaccinations and take medications their doctors prescribe them. It just doesn't make sense to me. Also, can we normalize not blaming Dr. Fauci for everything vaccine related.