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Here’s how Dr. Fauci responds to moronic conspiracy theories

Published Jul 31st, 2020 10:35PM EDT
Coronavirus conspiracy theory
Image: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP
  • Whether he’s asked about vaccine timetables or a coronavirus conspiracy theory, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci says he tries to always respond the same way. 
  • Even if he’s asked about “a bunch of people spouting something,” Fauci says he only wants to continue urging everyone to “follow the science.”
  • This is from a recent interview Dr. Fauci gave to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

Whether the subject is anything from face masks to effective coronavirus treatments to the odd coronavirus conspiracy theory, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has been sounding pretty repetitive in interviews he’s given for the last few months now.

That’s not by any means a criticism of the doctor, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and whose presence and distinctive Brooklyn accent have become ubiquitous to Americans desperate for authoritative information and sources about the coronavirus pandemic that’s upended our lives. His press rounds lately, though, seem to consist of … well, pretty much the same thing over and over. He’s asked repeatedly about drugs whose efficacy has been debunked. About face masks. About when our lives can get back to normal. About vaccines.

Occasionally, something new gets added to the mix — like the promulgation of a viral video with terrible implications. During a recent MSNBC appearance, Andrea Mitchell asked Fauci specifically about myths like face masks not being an effective coronavirus deterrent and that a secret coronavirus cure supposedly exists and is being hidden from the public. Should experts do more to clamp down on such misinformation, Dr. Fauci?

“You’re absolutely correct, Andrea,” Fauci says in the clip below, “and that’s why I’m very explicit and unambiguous when we say we’ve got to follow the science. If a study that’s a good study comes out and shows efficacy and safety for hydroxychloroquine or any other drug that we do, if you do it in the right way, you accept the scientific data.”

Fauci then went on to explain how dismissive you have to be in dealing with people pushing fake science and potentially destructive myths.

“Right now, today, the cumulative scientific data that has been put together and done over a number of different studies, has shown no efficacy,” Fauci said, referring to some peoples’ continued insistence that hydroxychloroquine is an effective coronavirus drug. “So when there’s a video out there from a bunch of people spouting something that isn’t true, the only recourse you have is to be very, very clear in presenting the scientific data that essentially contradicts that.”

Those people Fauci is trying to contradict by disseminating authoritative information as much as possible include Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas who in recent days announced that he’s tested positive for the coronavirus. “I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place if I might have put some … of the virus on the mask and breathed it in … But the reports of my demise are very premature,” he said during a video interview. As we noted in our previous coverage, Gohmert planned to quickly begin hydroxychloroquine therapy for COVID-19, even though it’s known definitively at this point that the drug is ineffective in treating COVID-19.

“To recap,” we noted about Gohmert and his situation, “a person who does not believe in face masks got infected with the most dangerous and widespread pathogen on the planet, wondered whether wearing a mask actually got him infected, and will now take a drug that could end up causing him more harm than good.”

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.