What precisely happened in the month of February 2020, when Anthony Fauci and cohorts were plotting their pandemic response, is still a mystery. Jeremy Farrar, of the Wellcome Trust, in his book on the topic says that during these weeks, they went to burner phones, clandestine video calls, and warned family members that something terrible could happen to them.
Their top concern was the possibility of the lab leak from Wuhan. They needed to get to the bottom of it and prepare the spin. We know that the initial draft of the academic article denying the lab leak came out February 4, 2020, later published in the Lancet on March 16. But what happened in these three weeks – apart from the mid-February NIH junket to China to learn how to control a virus – remains foggy.
But this much we do know: by March 2, 2020, Fauci had his game plan lined up. Michael Gerson of the Washington Post wrote him on that day and asked about the purpose of social distancing. This was weeks before most Americans had even heard this euphemism for forced human separation. Was the idea to wait for a vaccine, Gerson asked?
Fauci answered in a private email as follows:
“Social distancing is not really geared to wait for a vaccine. The major point is to prevent easy spread of infections in schools (closing them), crowded events such as theaters, stadiums (cancel events), work places (do teleworking where possible…. The goal of social distancing is to prevent a single person who is infected to readily spread to several others, which is facilitated by close contact in crowds. Close proximity of people will keep the R0 higher than 1 and even as high as 2 to 3. If we can get the R0 to less than 1, the epidemic will gradually decline and stop on its own without a vaccine.”
There we have it: the Fauci theory of how we get rid of the virus. We don’t need a vaccine. Just close things. Stay away from people. Don’t gather. Shut schools. Lock businesses and churches. All people stay away from all people. The R-naught will drop.
Then the virus will….and this is where the theory gets murky. Does it just vanish? Get bored? Get frustrated, give up, and vanish into the ether? And how long does this new social system of “social distancing” have to last? Years? Forever? And what happens once people start acting normally again?
This is very clearly crank science, one that confuses ex post data collection with causation itself and also seems to deny the workability of the human immune system. That such things would be written by a person in Fauci’s position is truly mind boggling. But the press went along, and still does after all this time.
What Fauci was imagining – and very few people picked up on it at the time – was the construction of a new social system. It was not just about this virus. It was about all pathogens and the whole functioning of society. He believed – or he decided to come to believe – that a re-engineering of the social order could successfully beat back common pathogens and bring about universal health.
He finally revealed this in his August 15, 2020, article for Cell that received very little attention at all. He was on his own attempting to implement an entire new social system based on a new ideology.
Living in greater harmony with nature will require changes in human behavior as well as other radical changes that may take decades to achieve: rebuilding the infrastructures of human existence, from cities to homes to workplaces, to water and sewer systems, to recreational and gatherings venues. In such a transformation we will need to prioritize changes in those human behaviors that constitute risks for the emergence of infectious diseases. Chief among them are reducing crowding at home, work, and in public places as well as minimizing environmental perturbations such as deforestation, intense urbanization, and intensive animal farming.
This article reveals the most important point. The pandemic response was not just about this one pathogen. It was about what amounts to a political, economic, social, and cultural revolution.
It’s not socialism or capitalism. It’s something else entirely, something very strange, like a Rousseauian technocracy, simultaneously primitive and high tech, as managed by a scientific elite, an untested dystopia worthy of the most terrifying literature in the English language.
No one has voted for such a thing. It is something Fauci and his friends dreamed up on their own and deployed all their enormous power to enact just as a test, until it fell apart. The US and many parts of the world were in their grip for the better part of a year and two years in some places.
This is a scandal for the ages, one that far outstrips issues of tax-funded gain-of-function research, as important as that is. It’s even more important that reports that Fauci has been earning personal royalty payments from pharmaceutical companies that receive grants that he has personally approved. The real problem comes down to his power and the ability of elected representatives and courts to control him for many decades.
Regardless of Fauci’s millenarian vision, the course of the virus took the usual path but for one major exception: the waves of infection occurred based on class rank in society. There was a political hierarchy of infection that started with the working classes, moved to the bourgeoisie, hit the professional classes, then high-end journalists, and finally, at the very end came for the elite ruling class itself – Trudeau, Psaki, Ardern, Gates, and finally Fauci – regardless of their multiple vaccines.
And here is why Fauci’s covid infection is significant, 28 months after the first lockdowns. It’s a sign and symbol that his entire theory of virus control was wrong. He got his way with policy and it did not work. The virus finally landed on him, as if to reenact Edgar Allan Poe’s fictional story of Prince Prospero in his castle that he believed would protect him.
And as a result of his exposure, Fauci will surely (unless his repeated injection of the same vaccine harmed the operation of his immune system) gain the natural immunity that is already possessed by 78 percent of kids and likely two thirds of the general population.
It should also alert us to three points of moral urgency:
- We need to replace Fauci-style feudalism with a new theory of how to reconcile the freely functioning society with the presence of infectious disease, so that neither he nor people in his pay or sway can attempt this again.
- We need to act to disable the unmitigated power of administrative-state bureaucrats to seize control of the machinery of government.
- We need a new system to decentralize science away from privileged elites so that they can never again have monopoly control over what is considered to be the science much less posses the power to censor dissent.
These are the lessons, at least the start of them. This virus is either endemic or at least almost so, but we are left with astonishing social, cultural, and economic destruction from Fauci’s attempt to implement an experimental plan on the whole population not only in the US but all over the world.
We will suffer for many years or generations from it. And yet, in the end, infection is individual and probably unavoidable for most people. The immune system adapts. That’s how we evolved to coexist. To pretend otherwise is the very essence of denying the science.
- Jeffrey A. Tucker Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics at The Epoch Times, and speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.