WSJ Slams Fauci-Collins Devious Stifling of Coronavirus Debate

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), center, Ant
Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP

The Wall Street Journal editors published an unusually harsh op-ed Tuesday accusing Drs. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins of employing underhanded tactics to silence important scientific voices that disagreed with them over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Citing emails obtained recently via the Freedom of Information Act, the editors declare that Drs. Fauci and Collins “schemed to quash dissenting views from top scientists,” in particular the architects of the Great Barrington Declaration that warned of detrimental effects of blanket lockdowns and advocated “focused protection” for the most vulnerable.

The Declaration spelled out the “devastating effects on short and long-term public health” produced by lockdown policies, including “lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health” and proposed a more targeted approach.

An October 2020 email from Dr. Collins to Fauci lamented the popularity of the Declaration (which was co-signed by Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford) and called for “a quick and devastating published take down of its premises.”

The journal notes that the Declaration’s drafters — Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff, Oxford’s Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya — were anything but fringe epidemiologists, yet in their crusade to impose a pseudo-consensus Fauci and Collins “used their authority to stigmatize dissenters and crush debate.”

Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, replied to Collins, then-director of the National Institutes of Health, that the takedown was underway, the WSJ editors observe, which included a partnership with media to control the narrative.

“The media cited Dr. Fauci as an unquestionable authority, and Dr. Fauci got his talking points from the media,” the op-ed states. “Facebook censored mentions of the Great Barrington Declaration. This is how groupthink works.”

Far from representing “science,” Fauci has strived to shut down real scientific debate over pandemic policy, working against the public interest, the editors observe.

“Rather than try to manipulate public opinion, the job of health officials is to offer their best scientific advice,” the op-ed concludes. “They shouldn’t act like politicians or censors, and when they do, they squander the public’s trust.”


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