OPINION: Who is Responsible for America’s COVID Disaster?

Crossing 500,000 dead is a grim milestone. We are one year into this pandemic, and it’s difficult to look at month after month of hospitalizations and deaths without feeling like there had to have been a better way to deal with this. If this is lockdowns and mask mandates working, one has to wonder what a more focused protection approach would have yielded.

Earlier this week Dr. Fauci, America’s favorite lab coat authoritarian, inscribed his epitaph for our fight against Covid-19 by telling ABC’s George Stephanopolous “I believe that if you look back historically, we’ve done worse than most any other country, and we’re a highly developed, rich country.”

“It’s so tough to just try to go back and do a metaphorical autopsy on how things went. It was just bad,” Fauci added.

As anyone who has been a close observer of this man for the past year knows, this statement is classic Fauci: sanctimonious and deceptive.

Let’s start with the most irritating part of his claim: “we’ve done worse than most any other country.” According to John Hopkins University of Medicine mortality analysis, America has a covid-19 mortality rate of around 152 per 100,000 of population. That’s high, no doubt. But so are the numbers from the United Kingdom (181), Italy (158), and Belgium (191). Spain is right behind the U.S. at 144, despite enormously costly and intrusive lockdowns, and Mexico is at 143, and France at 126.

So it’s simply not fair to say- according to “the data” (which Fauci seems to rely on more as a crutch phrase than anything else)- that the U.S. had a markedly worse response to this than any advanced western country of similar size. We are right in line with major European countries, several of which had extreme lockdowns in effect for months.

But who was in charge of all of this? Who was leading America’s response to Covid-19? One of the biggest continuing falsehoods of the narrative around Covid in America is that Trump refused to “listen to the experts.” That’s a politicized re-writing of history. President Trump overwhelmingly handed over control of our Covid-19 response to “the experts,” and that was more Dr. Fauci than any other person in in the country.

Never forget that it was Dr. Fauci who, on March 8th of 2020 on CBS News, told the American people at the very beginning of the pandemic explosion:

“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.”

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Fast-forward a year later, and now Dr. Fauci is telling everyone about how much more effective two masks are than one. And you might be wondering, what control group scientific study brought about such a revelation in Fauci? They strapped masks on mannequins in a lab and made some calculations. Here’s the CDC link to some of the recent studies on this if you want to read it yourself (science!).

Why is it that Dr. Fauci manages to escape all blame? Throughout history and up to present- if a General in a theater of war presides over a catastrophe, it’s understood that he will be held to account for that, either through firing or resignation. This is the way accountability with any large bureaucracy has to work, even though everyone is fully aware that no one man is responsible for everything that happens in a war.

Dr. Anthony Fauci defies this norm. His predictions throughout the pandemic have been appallingly wrong. His guidance constantly shifts based on the needs not of health, but politics. His pathetic effort to dance to the teachers unions’ required tune on school re-openings is a case in point.

The data is overwhelming- and has been since last summer- that children are at very low risk from Covid-19 and also much less likely than adults to spread it. Nobody disputes this. On top of that, many private and parochial schools across the country have been open, and they’re doing just fine. And millions of “essential workers”- grocery store clerks, mail carriers, truckers- have been doing their jobs from day 1 of the pandemic. Why are teachers so special?

It’s obvious what’s going on here. Fauci won’t come out clearly in favor of schools opening right now because the Democrats (and yes, Fauci is one) cannot cross the teachers unions. They need their political muscle and their donations. That children are suffering terribly from school lockdowns doesn’t matter enough to the Biden administration to do anything about it.

None of what we’ve seen from Fauci is surprising. He’s the ultimate bureaucrat. But given the amount of power he’s been handed over the entire country, maybe we should also demand he be held responsible for the policies that have been, by his own admission, a disaster?

Accountability means Fauci must be fired. But the chances of Biden ousting the Left’s favorite totalitarian grandpa are zero.