Where’s Fauci?

So who remembers Dr. Anthony Fauci? He of the retinue of the failed Trump nightly mini-rallies? Donald Trump’s reluctant side kick? The president’s “maybe” man? Well guess what? Hey now, hey now, our Fauci’s back!

Dr. Anthony Fauci just said he won’t go to Donald Trump’s Nuremberg-style rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. In fact he said “of course” he won’t go. Hell no, he won’t go. He replied as if it was a stupid question. Well, if it’s not a stupid question, it certainly ought to be.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, issued a call for all states, including Arizona, Texas and Florida, to move aggressively to prevent recent increases in COVID-19 cases from turning into “a real surge.” He did this in response to Vice President Mike Pence, head of the coronavirus task force, who played down the possibility of a “second wave” of Covid-19 cases, saying without evidence in a Wall Street Journal column that “such panic is overblown.” Fauci begs to differ.

Though Fauci says he hasn’t spoken to Donald Trump in two weeks, he admits that testing and tracing has improved somewhat in the last month or two, suggesting that he still feels the need to appease Trump, even in absentia. Recall it was Fauci who said in April that he was concerned that COVID-19 deaths could be as high as 60,000 by the end of August. The death toll is at nearly twice that now, at 119,204, and rising alarmingly, and the end of August is still two and a half months away.

While this perpetual Fauci soft-pedaling of the truth may have been necessary for him to survive at Trump’s White House, what has it really gained him at the end of the day? Fauci is a source of cautionary bromides, patronizingly believing he needs to let us down easy. I was hoping he’d notice we are big boys and big girls, and we can take our medicine straight and just fine. In any case, Fauci likes to play his music on the Easy Listening channel, and it keeps him in the demilitarized zone with Trump.

A man smart enough to be a leading doctor ought to have noticed that substandard zeal is not enough for Trump. Anyone who isn’t one hundred percent on board in Trumpland is in danger of being labelled fake news or a RINO (Republican In Name Only.) These days being perceived as less than rabidly pro-Trump can even garner you death threats from Trump’s acid claque of drones and cretins.

At least Fauci concedes that there is still a coronavirus problem in the United States, and it’s not something that can easily be fixed. “All you need to do is look at the data…,” Fauci says, “to see that the pandemic is not over by any means. The numbers speak for themselves.” They also speak louder than Trump, or anyone else in denial: not only is the pandemic still ongoing, it’s just barely begun, and America is in big trouble. This is why Trump absolutely must go in November. So, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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