Fauci says his pandemic messaging should have been ‘more careful’

Oct 4, 2022 | Political News

Biden's chief Covid czar Tony Fauci admitted on Tuesday that he should have been “much more careful” in the early days of the pandemic in how he spoke to Americans and relayed information about Covid.

When asked if he would do anything differently if he could go back and do it again, he said “You know, the answer is yes.”

“I mean, my goodness, no one's perfect. Certainly I am not,” Fauci said. This was during a seminar hosted by the University of Southern California’s Center for Health Journalism with Washington Post reporter Dan Diamond The Hill reported.

Previously he had claimed that critiques of him were “attacks on science.”

“And if you're attacking me, you're really attacking science,” Fauci claimed on another occassion. “I mean, everybody knows that.” 

“When I go back in the early months, I probably should have tried to be much, much more careful in getting the message to repeat — the uncertainty of what we’re going through,” Fauci told Diamond. 

In his view, he would have been more insistent that people needed to change their lifestyles early on, saying that this would have made it easier to be prepared among rapidly changing conditions. 

He complained that those comments of his that were “thrown back” at him later were that he had been too slow to tell the public that they should definitively make changes to their normal lifestyles to accomodate the pandemic.

“Well, as a matter of fact, that was true,” he told Diamond. “But if you wanted to say — if we knew then that this virus under the radar screen was transmitting in a way that was not fully appreciated and any of us would have said, ‘Hey, you know, we’ve had five cases in the country. We need to shut down.' People would have looked at us like we were crazy.”

Diamond asks Fauci's view of Biden's recent comments that the “pandemic is over,” which Biden said while touring the Detroit Auto Show. 

“The pandemic is over,” Biden said. “We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it. It's—but the pandemic is over.” The White House walked back Biden's claim during a press conference only a few days later.

For Fauci, this was exactly the wrong kind of messaging. 

“You have to be very careful. It is really unfortunate, that that’s the world in which we live, in that it’s a bunch of sound bites, sound bites that sometimes get cut in half and get misinterpreted,” he said.

“Someone could always make mischief by clipping out a few words,” Fauci said.