Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, served up harsh criticism of Americans on Thursday, asserting that the country suffers from what he described as an “anti-science bias” problem.
“One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are — for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable — they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority,” Fauci told the Learning Curve podcast, which is produced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“So when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that — and that’s unfortunate because, you know, science is truth,” Fauci continued, referring to the White House coronavirus task force’s once-daily briefings.
“It’s amazing sometimes the denial there is, it’s the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers, who don’t want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines,” he added. “That’s really a problem.”
Fauci’s comments come after the infectious disease expert admitted that the federal government held off promoting the use of face coverings to fight the spread of the coronavirus due to widespread shortages of masks.
Fauci said health experts were “concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.”
“We wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected,” he added.
Fauci made headlines this week when he declared that he would certainly not attend President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, citing personal health concerns stemming from the pandemic.
“I’m in a high-risk category. Personally, I would not. Of course not,” Fauci, 79, said in an interview with the Daily Beast.
President Trump’s re-election campaign said it plans on administering temperature checks to rally attendees and supply face masks and hand sanitizer.
“The campaign takes the health and safety of rally-goers seriously and is taking precautions to make the rally safe,” Erin Perrine, deputy communications director for the Trump campaign, said. “Every single rally goer will have their temperature checked, be provided a face mask and hand sanitizer. We are also taking precautions to keep rally-goers safe in the Oklahoma heat — including providing water bottles to keep people hydrated.”