In Defense of Dr. Fauci

I feel sorry for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most visible MD on the federal government’s coronavirus task force.

Many conservatives want him fired because they think he’s undermining President Trump.

Many leftists want him fired because they think he’s covering for President Trump.

That makes me think he’s probably doing a good job.

It goes back to something I learned about people when I was a newspaper reporter in Washington, DC. Back then, millennials were still in diapers and newspapers were still a viable business. I was mild-mannered enough, but unfortunately I couldn’t fly.

As a reporter, I always tried to write unbiased “straight news.” My proudest claim was that no one could tell what I personally believed about the news stories I covered.

That’s what I claimed. But when it came to hotly-debated issues, nobody was buying it.

Partisans on both sides often thought that my news articles were slanted against them.

They thought that an “unbiased” news article would say only what they wanted it to say. The opposing side wouldn’t get to say anything at all.

It wasn’t a Democratic or Republican thing. It was just human nature.

I’ve paid fairly close attention to Fauci’s public statements. He hasn’t said anything out of line for a responsible physician. The fact that some people can twist his words to mean the opposite of what he actually said doesn’t make him a malefactor.

So if all the rabid partisans want Fauci’s head, I suspect it’s because he’s doing his job as honestly as he can.

And people just hate a goody two-shoes.


Check out my book Why Sane People Believe Crazy Things: How Belief Can Help or Hurt Social Peace. Kirkus Reviews called it an “impressively nuanced analysis.”

 

About N.S. Palmer

N.S. Palmer is an American mathematician.
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