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‘Weaponized against me’: Fauci tries to defend inconsistent record on ‘herd immunity’


Daily Caller News Foundation

Former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci rationalized his changing rhetoric about COVID-19 herd immunity in a recent New York Times interview, saying one of the outlet’s previous reports had been used to attack him.

The NYT’s Donald McNeil reported in December 2021 that Fauci had acknowledged gradually “moving the goal posts” to higher estimates for the percentage of Americans who would have to gain COVID-19 resistance to achieve herd immunity. The NYT’s David Wallace-Wells told Fauci in April 2023 that many epidemiologists argued the virus’ replication process should have ruled out the possibility of herd immunity, but Fauci responded, “I don’t think anybody did anything wrong.”

Fauci argued that COVID-19 had upended herd immunity’s classical definition, the NYT reported Monday. He said the concept has historically relied on viruses not changing and infection or vaccination protecting people for decades or more.

“With SARS-CoV-2, we thought protection against infection was going to be measured in a long period of time,” Fauci told Wallace-Wells. “And we found out — wait a minute, protection against infection, and against severe disease, is measured in months, not decades. No. 2, the virus that you got infected with in January 2020 is very different from the virus that you’re going to get infected with in 2021 and 2022.”

Fauci complained that McNeil’s article “gets completely distorted” and has been “weaponized against me,” according to the NYT.

“What I was trying to tell Donald was that we don’t know what the threshold of herd immunity would be,” Fauci said, the outlet reported.  “But I probably could have been more clear that we were talking about a moving target, because we didn’t know how transmissible the virus was.”

A Convention of States Action and Trafalgar Group poll released in January found that more than half of respondents thought Fauci should be investigated for inconsistent testimony surrounding research before the COVID-19 pandemic and his pandemic management conduct.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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