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Fauci is doing more harm than good as long as Trump only uses him for cover

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

[Regarding this story: Trump retweets call to fire Anthony Fauci after the coronavirus expert says earlier measures ‘could have saved lives’]

A lot of people are crossing their fingers, hoping that Trump doesn’t fire Anthony Fauci, which now seems like a real possibility after Fauci had the gall to state the obvious, that had the administration responded earlier lives would’ve been saved. Common sense to most, verboten in the bunker.

But since Trump clearly isn’t listening to him, I think Fauci’s presence does more harm than good, in that there’s an implied endorsement irrespective of the tension between their positions, obvious to most but definitely not to all. That is, Fauci’s credibility serves as useful cover for Trump because people assume Trump weighed his counsel before saying whatever mendacious nonsense he just said.


For his part, Fauci is provided a job title and platform to speak to the country (when he’s permitted). But if he was fired or left on his own accord, he’d hardly lose access to the country — in fact he could speak more freely. In the statement that landed him in hot water with Trump he realized he’d stepped on a landmine and backed out with weaselly words: “Obviously, it would have been nice if we had a better head start, but I don’t think you could say that we are where we are right now because of one factor, It’s very complicated.”

I’m not a doctor, but it’s really not complicated. You only need to look at the successful countries and regions of the world to know that the formula isn’t a mystery: early detection and tons of strategic testing. Which was possible here but which wasn’t implemented because leadership disregarded experts like Fauci and disregarded the threat.

I know a lot of people get warm fuzzy feelings from Fauci’s presence — he’s someone in government talking actual sense who’s actually mindful of yours and my health and well-being and is unconcerned with the Dow Index. But since he’s quite clearly not serving as a check against Trump, his continued presence beside Trump creates an unhelpful illusion of regularity. It would be better if the tension between Trump’s horrific instincts and a person representing medical and scientific consensus were laid bare.

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