The Vilification of Anthony Fauci

Footnote: Since I announced that I have cancer at the end of 2023, you can imagine that blogging has been the furthest thing from my mind. For those that have kept up with my cancer recovery on top of my Long Covid journey on X (formerly known as Twitter,) Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok, I thank you. While I may not live to understand the correlation between cancer and Long Covid in my lifetime, scientists are starting to draw inferences such as Akiko Iwasaki Akiko Iwasaki in Fortune Magazine. "Inside Long Covid's War on the Body: Researchers are trying to find out whether the virus has the potential to cause cancer."

While I can't say with 100% certainty that Long Covid lead to cancer, I do know that; I was cancer free from a full-body PET scan at the end of 2020, I have a broken immune system, I have a body rife with inflammation due to Long Covid, and my oncologist said the (later two factors) very likely lead to stage IV cancer.

I have completed five of six sessions of chemotherapy and up until the fifth one last week, I'd say I managed them well for the most part except fatigue from Long Covid plus cancer and chemo is no joke as my level of energy is the worst it's ever been and have had increased dyspnea (shortness of breath) of late. Chemo number five packed a wallop that wiped me out for nearly four days. When people ask, what it's like, most often I reply that it feels like I've been poisoned. Will be glad to get through this.  

Just as I have with Long Covid, my wife and I (Mrs SBM) and I have tried to live a full life even if that's working on a puzzle with my limited energy. Last month, I pulled off what was perhaps the best day of my life orchestrating a "surprise" wedding proposal and vow renewal with the help of my daughter, Nikki.*


Since we gained hope from my oncologist in January, it's been an emotional roller-coaster as you'd expect. Many days we have optimism to live as long and full a life as possible; and other days I break down and cry when she talks about perhaps moving to Europe and I know I won't be there to enjoy it with her.

As John Oliver would say (still waiting for him to cover Long Covid,) on "Last Week Tonight," moving on, our main story tonight covers the most targeted villain of the Covid Pandemic, Anthony Fauci. 

source Wapo
On Monday Cruella de Vil aka Marjorie Taylor Greene lead a crucifixion of Anthony Fauci over the management of Covid-19. The Republican-lead House panel covered topics ranging from social distancing and masking to the origins of the virus from Wuhan labs. MTG hammered away at Dr Fauci (refusing to refer to him as a Dr) complete with sympathetic graphics of cruel puppy experiments. 

A literal "dog whistle;" (use of coded or suggestive language in political messaging to garner support from a particular group) the White Coat Waste Project from 2021 had absolutely ZERO to do with Covid, or Long Covid, but it makes for great theatre. There are questions around the project and Fauci's funding of the testing but I won't go down that rabbit hole in this post. 

Perhaps the best coverage I came across yesterday was from Dan Diamond from the Washington Post, "the infectious-disease expert (Fauci) said Republicans have distorted emails between scientists as they discussed whether a lab leak of the coronavirus was possible."

"The hearing with Fauci, widely viewed as the face of the United States' coronavirus response, drew a circus-style environment to a covid panel that has often struggled for attention as the public has moved on from the pandemic."

To clarify the cobwebs in my own brain, I "googled," how is Covid transmitted. The CDC and WHO have pretty much the same definition. It's airborne (stupid,) so it baffles me that there's much in the way of debate about masking or social distancing. Let's use another analogy. If someone caught leprosy, would you want to be in the same room with them? No--they were banished to islands (see--Hawaii leper colony.) Yes, it was a thing, because you couldn't be far enough away from the infected.

It almost seems as if we forgot the refrigerated morgues in parking lots in 2020 or the "super spreader" event at the football match in Italy. They weren't having sex in the stands or doing blood transfusions at the match dubbed "game zero." They were BREATHING on each other. I had to look this one up. With the virus already entering the news, officials decided to proceed anyway with the match in February of 2020. It literally spread like wildfire after that in Europe.

There are countless studies that show the efficacy of wearing masks to prevent (or minimize the risk) of Covid infections including this one from Yale.

Yet Republicans were "clutching their pearls" yesterday suggesting Fauci sent people to their certain deaths by recommending guidelines. This is a good time for me to point out that I believe wearing a mask or using your own guidelines around social events is a PERSONAL choice. We lost the war of ubiquitous mask wearing as people wanted to move on with their lives. I get it. I do think that healthcare settings still make sense, but I'm not going to (pun intended) die on that Hill. 

Boebert and Greene "time travel" to when America had to deal with Polio

What it does mean that if you encounter a stranger that's wearing a mask, they aren't the anti-Christ--they just want to protect themselves which is a personal freedom here in American. 

Yet, the GOP fights like hell to deny science. A close family member is dating a "red hat" and he's constantly posting anti-masking on his Facebook page--so the GOP strategy worked. Republicans are hard-core against masks (even in healthcare) and they can't let go of the fact that protective measures were put in place to save lives.

So, how did it become political? In my first "Last Week Tonight" post from 2021, I tackled the subject and it all has to do with the Commander in Chief, Mango Mussolini who can never admit a mistake. When the pandemic rolled out, he didn't want it to affect the economy, approval ratings, or re-election chances so he initially downplayed it ("it will be gone by Easter.") 

source:, Politico via AP

He mocked it (and mocked mask-wearing) and embraced a "cuckoo for cocoa puffs" science strategy with notions of bright lights, bleach, Ivermectin, and the Future Doctors of America vs. U.S. Agencies with decades of experience in infectious disease.

Just downright batshit crazy stuff. But once he bet on that trajectory, he could never admit that he was wrong so he (to this day) double-downed on it. My opinion is that, with the election coming up, no doubt his (mis)management of the Coronavirus will be a campaign topic so enter in the crazies to find a scapegoat--none better than the guy who had to rub his forehead at some of the lunacy spewing out of the White House briefings--Dr. Anthony Fauci.

You're beginning to understand which side of the ledger I fall on when it comes to Fauci. Personally, I believe the man dedicated his life to fighting and preventing infectious disease. I'm glad that many have come to his defense--shocker--real scientists and more shocking, Democrats. stated, "Democrats rushed to defend the record of the longtime adviser to presidents, who retired in 2022. “Under the guise of investigating the pandemic’s origins, House Republicans have abdicated their responsibility to objectively examine how COVID-19 came to be, and instead weaponized concerns about a lab-related origin to fuel sentiment against our nation’s scientists and public health officials for partisan gain,” said Representative Raul Ruiz (CA), the panel’s ranking Democrat."

The one area that I haven't addressed was the "gain of function" topic. The Republicans tried to create a smoking gun yesterday, but were unsuccessful. I'd have to admit, I (with Long Covid and cancer) don't have the energy to do a "Watergate" investigation of Fauci on this point. I don't believe he's a James Bond Villain set to unleash a pathogen on all of humanity; rather he was fighting to help people survive it.

Another scientist that came to Fauci's defense was Professor Peter Hotez (again, with limited time and energy,) I was not prepared to tackle the vaccine aspect, but note that Hotez is a firm advocate of the science supporting the fact that the vaccine saved lives--oh, by the way, Mr. Mango took credit for "warp speed," but I'm guessing he'll get amnesia on that topic around the election.

Hotez made the point that it seems insane to demonize and force out of the segment of medicine that's designed to help and protect you. Fauci has been unable to fully enjoy retirement as he, his wife, and daughters are subject to death threats--from a guy trying to help. I'll end with an article he (and many others) re-posted from Nature, "Harassment of scientists is surging — institutions aren’t sure how to help." Hotez threats literally showed up on his doorstep--no doubt fueled by the orange prophet's lunancy. 

Seriously, what are we doing here when we push experts out of trying to help us. 

Not a villain, but "Saint Fauci."

Footnote: the partially completed illustration in a shelved project of mine is none other than Greene and Boebert who time-travelled in a flux-capacitor DeLoreon to the onset of polio to see science was evolving when it hit the earth just as the coronavirus did. 

* Three points from my wedding video, don't mask shame, it was the best day of my life, don't piss on that. Second was (in case you were judging,) there was no booze in my glass, I can't tolerate alcohol. and lastly, there was no break dancing but there was a short "shuffle" dance with my limited energy--I was not going to disappoint the bride.


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