Time for Fauci and Birx to end their performance at the White House and take their show on the road.
President Trump likes to remind us that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, has made a few mistakes.
The president is right. Scientists sometimes make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process—in many ways the most important part.
Having been a chemistry major for almost four months(!), I know science...at least four months' worth.
Scientists ask questions. (What is this virus? How do we stop it?)
Then they do some research. (It seems to be another SARS-type thingy.)
They propose a hypothesis. (Transmission occurs in crowds, by contact, it affects older people, masks may not help.)
They conduct experiments. (Shut everything down, isolate people, try different treatments—ventilators, oxygen, remdesivir. Don't inject bleach.)
They record the data. (Some treatments and strategies work better than others—masks help after all, crowded bars and churches don’t.)
They offer a conclusion. (The outbreak of Covid-19 is worsening, and to slow it down we need to isolate, wear a face-covering, maintain social distancing, and stay out of enclosed spaces, etc.
It’s not a perfect system, and the conclusion and data may change over time, but the only mistake a scientist makes is compiling new data and ignoring it. Scientists don't do that, but Trump does. It's his modus operandi: propose a hypothesis, ignore the data, present a conclusion. It's idiocy. These days he watches the number of victims skyrocket and the number of deaths creep up again, and maintain we’re doing well.
We’re not doing well...which brings me to Dr. Fauci, who has, just as Trump implied, made some mistakes, but only one major blunder: he has tried to serve two masters–science and ignorance. Every time Fauci appears on the same stage as Donald Trump, the doctor gives tacit approval to the president’s asinine, ill-informed, and just plain dangerous approaches to the pandemic. And though Deborah Birx seems like a nice, smart person, ditto for her. (She's a Legion of Merit winner—why is she wasting her breath on Trump?)
Both Fauci and Birx have to go—not be fired—just leave. They have to yell in TRUMPCAPS that enough is enough, that the president is a danger to the country, and they will not enable him—even tacitly—anymore.
Now I do understand the rationale for wanting them to stay: without a scientific mind up there, it could all be worse. But it’s already worse. Fauci and Birx signal alarm bells, then Trump and Pence turn up on Fox News and gainsay every warning. Really, it's time for the good doctors to bail. Time for them to tell us the truth unencumbered by the president's disapproval or denial.
I'll admit scientists haven't been right every time, but the fact that they can assimilate and prognosticate gives them a leg up on Trump...as does the fact that, unlike the president, they won’t be wrong every time.