There were a fascinating series of videos that went viral on Monday. The videos showed Dr. Anthony Fauci going door to door with Washington, D.C. officials like Mayor Muriel Bowser, encouraging people in Ward 8 of the Anacostia neighborhood to get vaccinated.
The video was taken in June 2021 as part of a PBS documentary featuring Fauci as part of its “American Masters” series to help viewers “discover insightful profiles of important figures in America’s artistic and cultural life.” I’m not sure that’s how many would describe people today. Insightful isn’t the first adjective that comes to my mind. We had a few other words for him here when he kept insisting that it was still likely a “natural occurrence” and seemed to forget the words “gain of function.
But Fauci in essence put down the D.C. neighborhood he was visiting — a historically black neighborhood — as “disenfranchised” with low vaccination levels.
But those folks had a few things to say to him on his visit, coming back at him with good points and questions. Meanwhile, his responses were how shall we put this? Not always correct.
They approached one family where Muriel Bowser encourages the woman to get vaccinated “first” and Fauci says she wants to do that so she doesn’t spread it to her children. But then another woman says that she heard that you can still get the virus even if vaccinated, “I heard that it doesn’t cure it and it doesn’t stop you from getting it.”
Fauci’s response? “No,” Fauci replied. “On the very, very, very rare chance that you do get it even if you’re vaccinated, it’s a very – you don’t even feel sick. It’s like you don’t even know you got infected. It’s very, very good at protecting you.”
This of course is not true, as we know. There were also 60,000 of those “rare” cases where the people vaccinated got it in D.C. Many got it despite being vaccinated and yes, felt very sick. The resident was more correct than Fauci.
Then you also notice how Fauci went after Republicans in that clip as well, blaming Republican states for the outbreaks.
Bowser asked Fauci, “What are we going to do about those other states?” referring to states that refused to mandate the vaccine.
“Oh my God, they’re going to keep the outbreak smoldering in the country,” Fauci replied.
“It’s so crazy. I mean, they’re not doing it because they say they don’t want to do it. They’re Republicans. They don’t like to be told what to do. And we got to break that, unpack that,” Fauci declared. He was going to break us until we comply with what he wanted, let’s unpack that. It says so much about the authoritarian approach taken on this issue. As we can know, many people were vaccine-hesitant, for a variety of reasons, many of whom were not Republicans.
But one resident let Fauci and Bowser have it when they came to his door.
He was not shy about dressing down Fauci, saying “the people in America are not settled with the information that’s been given to us right now. So, I’m not going to be lining up taking a shot on vaccination for something that wasn’t clear in the first place.”
He indicated that he thought nine months wasn’t enough time to be coming up with a vaccination. Bowser scolded him saying that she was talking to him because she was vaccinated but that if “thousands of people like you don’t get vaccinated, you’re going to let this virus continue to percolate in this country and in this world.” She’s trying to guilt him into it, even though being vaccinated didn’t prevent the spread.
“Something like the common flu then, right?” the man shot back. That kind of sentiment likely would have gotten him banned had he posted it on social media at the time. Fauci said that more people had died from COVID than from the flu. The man responded, “Again, that’s you all’s number.”
The man started raising questions about why they would be so desperate to get people vaccinated as to pay people to get vaccinated “because when you start talking about paying people to get vaccinated when you start talking about incentivizing things to get people vaccinated, it’s something else going on with that.”
When Fauci and Bowser realized they weren’t getting anywhere with him, they headed out. He called after them, “[Your] campaign is about fear. It’s about inciting fear in people. You all attack people with fear. That’s what this pandemic is. It’s fear, it’s fear, this pandemic. That’s all it is.”
Fauci has no response to that.