Poor Dr. Fauci has been reduced to defending his stature by playing the White House’s game.
By Michael Shaw
This cover is not cool.
Apparently, the way to counter the White House’s “kill the messenger” campaign against Dr. Anthony Fauci right now is to turn him into a more conventional political celebrity. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was popular enough before. But America’s top immunologist was widely known and admired because he wasn’t trying to be cool, or “highly rated,” or overly visible.
At this point, though, the “People”-like treatment seems like part of the prescription to counter the smear effort. The cover sets up an interview by CBS’s Norah O’Donnell with Fauci and his wife, bioethicist Dr. Christine Grady, to tell “their side of the story.”
So, this is not a cool picture. It’s a sad picture as the virus spins out of control. It illustrates how much Fauci has been reduced to defending his credibility as a scientist, a medical authority, and a critical source of knowledge and guidance by playing the White House’s PR game.