new tony

Anti-mask-and-vax-and-science goons demonstrate this summer in New York City as Tony Fauci and Jill Biden visit a vaccination clinic in Harlem, where the infection rate has been higher than most of the city but only about 7% of residents have been vaccinated. Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

Clarity and Reason and Truth Oh My: Fauci Offers Steadfast Shelter From the Storm

Amidst the chaos of Omicron - a Trump judge blocked Biden's no-brainer vax mandate for healthcare workers, GOP states are bribing anti-vaxxers with unemployment benefits to crash the communist Dem agenda and so what if a few more thousand die - we're taking a cool, fresh drink of lucidity from "America's doctor," Anthony Fauci. In an hour-long interview - full sentences! many facts! - he blasted slimy GOP efforts to turn public health into cheap political theater and calmly insisted, "That's OK, I'm just going to do my job and I'm going to be saving lives and they're going to be lying."

The arrival of the new Omicron variant of COVID - deemed by Biden and experts "a cause for concern, not panic" - has come amidst the usual chaos and crazy. A Trump-appointed federal judge just temporarily blocked Biden's no-brainer vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in 10 states. The GOP and their media have mounted a specious, slimy attack on his vaccine mandate for large businesses - at least nine GOP-run states have passed laws banning or poking holes in the rule and at least 20 GOP bills have been introduced in Congress to chip away at it - even as, with truly staggering hypocrisy, they blame Biden for failing to contain COVID. And in a new move "testing a creative mechanism" to rally an anti-any-reasonable-precaution base of lunatics and crash the communist Dem agenda and so what if several more thousand of them die, several GOP states have taken to bribing the defiantly unvaccinated by offering them anti-vax unemployment benefits, often by allowing them exemptions on random religious, medical, philosophical or any other grounds - no vaccines on Tuesdays! - without any proof required. Taking the crackpot cake is Florida, which boasts of having passed the country's "strongest pro-freedom" laws to "protect Florida jobs" by allowing exemptions from mandates for almost any real or imaginary reason, including past COVID infections and "anticipated future pregnancy." In maintaining time-honored, dumb-or-evil GOP tradition - deflect, obstruct, lie, repeat - they face stiff competition from Texas, where Andy Borowitz tracks the elusive Ted Cruz to report "a troubling variant of stupidity" that, quoting Anthony Fauci, "appears to have developed immunity to all information." Warning that "of the many mutations of stupidity found in Texas, this one stands out," he warns steps be taken to stop a spread "that's already traveled as far as Cancun."

Thankfully, "America's doctor," the actual, unflappable, determinedly non-political Dr. Fauci is still working hard to stop the stupid. In an hour-long interview with Margaret Brennan on CBS' "Face the Nation," Fauci offered a fresh, soothing drink of lucidity complete with full sentences, scientific facts, and admission of mistakes and fallibility - on masks, data, PPE, testing the asymptomatic - without the defensiveness and lies served up by the GOP's histrionic clowns. Having long kept his mouth shut - except when sparring with noxious Rand Paul - Fauci (sort of) let loose on the GOP crimes he's witnessed - their "outlandish politicization" of public health, rendering of a global pandemic into tawdry political theater and fatal decision to abandon responsibility to disordered states, which was "the antitheses of public health." The interview ranges from Fauci's 2019 quote on what keeps him up at night - the emergence of a respiratory, highly transmissible, often fatal virus that can spread before you know you're sick: "My worst nightmare has come true" - to the likelihood of another pandemic - "We've had plagues before - why in our naivete think this isn't going to happen again?" - to the inevitable scapegoating of him, "somebody who only cares about science and health - we live by data, evidence, truth" - to deflect from criminal negligence. Never mind death threats to him and his family; he worries about democracy: "There's a distinct anti-science flavor to this. If they get up and criticize science, nobody's going to know what they're talking about. But if they get up and aim their bullets at Tony Fauci...well, there's a face, a voice you can recognize...So it's easy to criticize, but they're really criticizing science because I represent science. And that's dangerous." Finally, Fauci saved some grim humor for Ted Cruz - "Yeah, I have to laugh at that. I should be prosecuted? What happened on Jan. 6, Senator?" - and his vengeful ilk: "Anybody who spins lies and threatens (and) all that other nonsense - that's noise. I'm just going to do my job, and I'm going to be saving lives, and they're going to be lying."

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