Tucker Carlson took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci Friday night for his recommendation of a national stay-at-home order. The straight-talking Fox News host said that following his suggestions for long-term social distancing “would be national suicide” based on the economic hardships that are already resulting.
Fauci has been front and center during White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefings and is widely respected among many across the political spectrum for his medical expertise. However, his recent comments about extending social distance guidelines for as long as there are new COVID-19 cases and related deaths have drawn criticism for failing to account for economic and political realities.
“Since the middle of March, much of America has been locked down,” Carlson said. “We are three weeks into the largest and most disruptive response to a national emergency in our lifetimes. In the middle of that, you often get the sense that our leaders are still feeling their way along, making up details ad hoc as they are brought forward and the mass directive is a perfect example of that.”
Carlson offered praise and his personal respect for Fauci’s well-established credentials and professional medical career before pointing out, “that does not mean that he’s never wrong. On the question of this pandemic, Fauci has been wrong repeatedly. “On January 21st, he appeared on television, for example, to reassure the public that the Wuhan coronavirus was not worth worrying about.”
Carlson reviewed several early comments by the NIAID director in which Fauci offered his opinion in January that the virus would not become a major threat to the U.S. That was before China quarantined Wuhan and the truth of the matter started to emerge. His subsequent reassurances to the American public in various media appearances into February about the disease were also falsely dismissive of the threat.
“To be clear, we are not attacking Tony Fauci for getting it wrong on coronavirus,” said Carlson. “Most people did get it wrong, in and out of medicine. It’s never easy predicting which faraway problems will become imminent crises here at home. Even the experts make big mistakes. They’re human beings. They make human mistakes. And that is exactly the point that we ought to remember going forward. Human beings frequently underestimate risk, particularly risk on the horizon. Then they very often, in turn, overreact to risk once they identify it, and we may be watching that happen right now.”
“Two months ago,” he continued, “Anthony Fauci told us not to worry about this epidemic. Now he is demanding that the federal government quarantine the entire country.” Carlson pointed out that several state officials have followed suit by extending their shutdowns months into the future already.
“Meanwhile, various epidemiologists are talking about putting an entire year of cycled shutdowns,” the Fox News host added. “That means Americans will be allowed back to work and ordered home again and then back to work over and over again. To be clear, these are extreme measures. We can only guess at the social and economic destruction they might wreak, but it would be profound, that is for sure.”
Carlson went on to criticize the reliance officials are exhibiting on computer models that are proving to be hit or miss. Interestingly, Fauci himself has apparently lost confidence in models. The Washington Post on Friday reported:
Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told others there are too many variables at play in the pandemic to make the models reliable: “I’ve looked at all the models. I’ve spent a lot of time on the models. They don’t tell you anything. You can’t really rely upon models.”
Carlson went on to charge that inaccurate models have “driven massively disruptive government policy.”
“More than 10 million Americans have already lost their jobs. Imagine another year of this,” said Carlson. “That would be national suicide, and yet, that is what Anthony Fauci is suggesting, at least. Now, we’re not suggesting Fauci wants to hurt America. We don’t think he does. He seems like a very decent man. But Fauci is not an economist or for that matter someone who fears being unemployed himself. … Fauci has bulletproof job security. He’s not thinking that way. He has the luxury of looking at the world through the narrow lens of his profession. He doesn’t seem to think much outside that lens.
Watch the host’s commentary about Fauci on “Tucker Carlson Tonight“:
Video by Fox News
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