Fauci: I symbolize ‘craving for consistency, for integrity, for truth’

Explaining to a sympathetic audience a phenomenon called “the Fauci effect,” the White House coronavirus adviser said Tuesday that at a time in which “untruths and lies” have become normalized, he’s become a symbol of a “craving” people have “for consistency, for integrity, for truth.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci was speaking to an audience at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle when he mentioned what’s “called the Fauci effect.”

Conscious that the term made him sound self-serving, he paused and said it’s “sort of like, you know – trust me, I don’t get excited about that.”

Laughing, he continued, “I mean it’s nice, but it’s …”

Fauci said “people go to medical school, now, people are interested in science, not because of me – because most people don’t know me, who I am; my friends know me, my wife knows me – people don’t know me; it’s what I symbolize.”

“And what I symbolize in an era of the normalization of untruths and lies and all the things you’re seeing going on in society, from January 6th to everything else that goes on, people are craving for consistency, for integrity, for truth and for people caring about people,” said Fauci, who has directed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

Addressing “vaccine hesitancy,” Fauci said some people don’t want to get vaccinated because they don’t have enough information and others “have got so much misinformation thrown at them; and then others are just hardcore, there’s nothing that you’re going to do to change their minds.”

“In the same way misinformation tends to flood the system, we try to flood the system with correct information that’s delivered in a non-pejorative way by trusted messengers,” he said.

Fauci complained earlier this month that his effort to get people to adopt the government’s COVID-19 health measures has been hampered by “misinformation and disinformation.” But it’s Fauci who, in his defense of masking, lockdowns and vaccines, has spread information that has turned out not to be true, sometimes with life-altering and even deadly consequences.

Last week, a prominent health scientist charged under oath during Senate testimony that Fauci and other federal health officials repeatedly have lied to Congress about the government’s funding of gain-of-function research in China, which is believed by many experts to be the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci and President Biden were among the top officials who declared one year ago that people who received the COVID-19 vaccines would not contract the disease. Both, while quadruple-vaccinated, caught COVID-19, and both suffered a rebound of the disease while taking the Pfizer drug Paxlovid, which the government recommends for COVID treatment.

Later Tuesday in Seattle, Fauci was met with boos amid polite applause when he was announced to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday night as the Seattle Mariners hosted the New York Yankees. A Brooklyn native, Fauci has describes himself as a lifelong fan of the Yankees.

Fauci received the Hutch Award on Tuesday, which normally is given annually to an active Major League Baseball player who “best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire” of Fred Hutchinson. The institution’s namesake was a Major League pitcher and manager who died from lung cancer in 1964.

Fauci’s slow, arching pitch Tuesday night was on target, in contrast to his ceremonial toss at a Washington Nationals game last year, which almost immediately hit the ground and veered far left.

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