Fed up with personal attacks on the nation’s top infectious disease expert, scores of leading scientists and physicians have signed an open letter defending Anthony Fauci, MD, for his years of service to the public and his leadership on the pandemic.
“We deplore the personal attacks on Dr. Fauci. The criticism is inaccurate, unscientific, ill-founded in the facts and, increasingly, motivated by partisan politics,” reads the letter of support, initiated by Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, and signed by almost 300 scientists, public health and medical professionals, including Nobel Laureates, a former Republican senator, and leadership of medical societies and institutions.
Fauci has led the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and serves as President Biden’s top medical advisor on the pandemic.
“Dr. Anthony Fauci has served the USA with wisdom and integrity for nearly 40 years. Through HIV, Ebola, and now COVID, he has unswervingly served the United States guiding the country to very successful outcomes. He has our unreserved respect and trust as a scientist and a national leader,” the letter reads.
Fauci has repeatedly faced harsh criticism from congressional Republicans, especially Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS).
At a particularly contentious congressional hearing earlier this week on the federal government’s response to Omicron, Fauci fought back, telling Marshall, “You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary.”
Fauci, who has received death threats and harassment of his family, told Rand that his “completely untrue” statements and rhetoric “kindles the crazies out there.”
The personal attacks on Fauci are a “distraction from what should be the national focus — working together to finally overcome a pandemic that is killing about 500,000 people a year. We are grateful for Dr. Fauci’s dedication and tireless efforts to help the country through this pandemic and other health crises,” the letter reads.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Fauci has provided the American political leadership and the public with sagacious counsel in these most difficult of times. His advice has been as well informed as data and the rapidly evolving circumstances allowed,” it states.
“Importantly,” Fauci has given his advice with “humility, being clear about what we know and what is unknown, but requires judgment. He has consistently emphasized the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing, and vaccination. These are standard and necessary public health measures that we all support,” the letter states.
“We are grateful that Dr. Fauci has consistently stated the science in a way that represents the facts as they emerge, without unwarranted speculation.”
“Sadly, in these politically polarized times where misinformation contaminates the United States’ response to the pandemic, routine public health measures have become unnecessarily controversial, undermining the effectiveness of our country’s response,” the letter reads.