During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health starkly criticized those, like Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who have occupied themselves with attacking him in a personal capacity rather than more directly going after the pandemic. Not too long ago, DeSantis’s campaign even began selling merch with the message “Don’t Fauci My Florida” — and in the time since that went on sale, thousands of COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in Florida, and the state now leads every other in average daily COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. DeSantis is committing a dereliction of duty.
Attacks from Republicans on Fauci are simply flat-out ridiculous. He’s not even directly in charge of certain kinds of public policy decisions that Republicans have so often focused upon. His actual job consists of leading scientific research efforts as part of his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — beyond that, he’s served as a presidential adviser, but ask certain Republicans, and it would sound like he’s essentially the shadow president, which is false.
Asked about the merch targeting him from the DeSantis campaign, Fauci commented on CNN as follows:
‘Whoever is attacking me and attacking me is just a reflection of the politicization of what should be a purely public health issue. And it’s really unfortunate. You know, they’re attacking personally me, because I’m a visible person, but I’m merely articulating the proper public health practices that are recommended strongly by an organization, and that organization is the CDC. So they like to pick out a certain person because they could make that person the personification of political divides, which is so unfortunate. We should put all of that aside. We have an extraordinary problem that’s killing people in the United States — killing us, putting us in the hospital. So that kind of politicization… there’s no place for that when you’re dealing with a public health crisis.’
There are other examples of these so-called leaders’ issues too. As the pandemic has raged, DeSantis, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott, and others have expended critical government resources on… seeking to block mask mandates in schools. In other words, they’re not only failing to rise to the occasion; they’re being actively counterproductive. Watch Fauci’s comments below:
Dr. Fauci on DeSantis's "Don't Fauci My Florida" merch: "It's just a reflecting of the politicization of what should be a purely public health issue." pic.twitter.com/nxWWsQHK5B
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 29, 2021