During an appearance on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health spoke out against the recent decision by Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott to issue an order blocking mandates in the state to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Abbott’s order flew in the face of recent announcements from the Biden administration, which is directing (among other things) government contractors to have their employees vaccinated. Because of that, major companies including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines (both of which are headquartered in Texas) have announced their intentions to defy Abbott’s attempted ban of vaccine requirements.
Fauci pointedly commented as follows, referring to the Abbott order:
‘From a public health standpoint, that is really unfortunate, because we know how effective vaccines are in preventing not only illness for the individual, but for diminishing the dynamics of the infection in society. The data are very, very clear. It doesn’t matter what I think or don’t think of Governor Abbott. The fact is, look at the data, and look at the difference between people who get vaccinated versus people who are un-vaccinated, in cases, in hospitalizations, and in deaths… We’re not living in a vacuum, as individuals. We’re living in a society, and society needs to be protected. And you do that by not only protecting yourself, but by protecting the people around you by getting vaccinated.’
“We’re not living in a vacuum, as individuals” — that’s certainly something that Republican leaders could stand to take to heart. On Fox, Fauci also addressed criticism that he has faced throughout the course of the pandemic. Frequently, Republicans in particular have singled out Fauci, going after him over policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — although it’s very much worth noting that these Republican attacks have often featured a vastly out-of-line perception of what Fauci actually does. His job responsibilities include leading research work and advising — not directing — the president. He’s not sitting in some control room, slowly turning up an imaginary “socialism” dial, and he never has.
While Republicans have focused on conspiratorial nonsense targeting Fauci, their constituents have suffered. It’s basic reality that policies like masking up and getting vaccinated can help save lives. As Fauci put it on Fox:
‘People… who have conspiracy theories, who deny reality that’s looking them straight in the eye — those are people that don’t particularly care for me. And that’s understandable… sometimes the truth becomes inconvenient for some people, so they react against me. That just is what it is. There’s not much I can do about that.’
Check out Fauci’s comments below:
Fauci on why he thinks he's become polarizing: "People [who] have conspiracy theories, who deny reality that's looking them straight in the eye, those are ppl that don't particularly care for me. And that's understandable… sometimes the truth becomes inconvenient for some ppl." pic.twitter.com/5OLmYeGaPn
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 17, 2021