Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Much Does Dr. Fauci Really Care?

 

Dennis Prager spoke the hard truth Monday morning: Dr. Fauci is a lifelong government employee with a salary and benefits package perfectly insulated from the economic consequences of his words. He has absolutely no skin in the game. If Dr. Fauci truly believes it is necessary to put hourly workers, waiters, bartenders, and small businesses out of work, destroying them economically, then let him and the head of the CDC ante up.

Dr. Fauci’s easiest path is completely shutdown of our economy, doing maximum damage to people who were just starting to see real success and a brighter future. He can claim noble motives, even as he seeks to avoid blame for early failures. Words of concern and supposed sympathy tripping off a career bureaucrat’s lips ring hollow and are bitter to those he ruins.

So, President Trump needs to put this to the coronavirus crew immediately, giving them the chance to volunteer giving up their salaries until the federal guidelines no longer limit American jobs. Then, if they push back, he needs to drop it on them in front of the cameras. Let’s all see their real faces and real positions when they are made to live with the real consequences of their words.

We have already seen Dr. Fauci tripped up on his own words today. He pushed for schools to be closed, but then stumbled over himself as a real reporter asked why daycare centers would be open, since the reason for shutting schools applies to daycare. He finally acknowledged the obvious and left the microphone with “we’ll look at that again.”

President Trump can do this in the context of virtuous examples from professional sports, where team owners are promising to keep paying people who work their home venues, to protect them from the consequences of stopping games. This is the way Americans respond to hard times. Rudy Gobert has already pledged over $500,000 to his home arena workers and others. He is the NBA player who was the unlucky first to be found infected. Here in Arizona, one of the two major utility companies just announced they will not shut off anyone’s power or charge interest until this government made economic catastrophe ends. Time for Fauci to put his paycheck where his mouth is.

If Dr. Fauci and the rest of the crew face real economic pain right now, and suddenly have to worry about paying bills in the months ahead, then they will be motivated to truly act in the real public interest. This may not change their recommendations, but it will certainly go a long way towards buying them credibility with a public they lecture and chide about being serious. This is of a piece with governors ordering restaurants and bars closed, while keeping their party’s primary election on schedule for this week. Everyone can see the obvious contradictions. Those governors should lead by example.* Their salaries, along with Dr. Fauci’s should all go to direct economic relief for the smallest businesses and most economically vulnerable workers.


* President Trump was too sharp to fall for a White House press-member asking him to call on governors to postpone elections. This would immediately turn into claims of dictatorship and plans to cancel the November election, when the latest coronavirus might be back.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Wow, that certainly presents a different perspective, Clifford! The bureaucrats have nothing to lose, since they can keep the nation at gunpoint and we can’t do a thing about it. As a senior, I am willing to limit my time outside my home, taking responsibility for my own health and the chance of infecting others (although I have no reason to think I have the virus). I’m very disturbed by all the workers and small businesses who will be damaged, maybe destroyed, by these steps. POTUS won’t put them on the spot that way, but he is the final decision-maker. I wonder how the general population would react if he freed them up?

    • #1
    • March 16, 2020, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  2. Songwriter Member
    Songwriter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As Thomas Sowell observed in his book on intellectuals, they are the rare breed that never pays for their mistaken predictions and policies.

    • #2
    • March 16, 2020, at 1:52 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  3. Ralphie Member

    It is the old saying that the markets and business don’t like uncertainty. Obama’s handling of the financial crisis resulted in the government picking winners and losers, and it seems we are going down the same path. Public workers win, private workers lose. There will be no backpay for those in the private sector who will lose their jobs, etc., like there was for government workers in the non essential shutdown.

    • #3
    • March 16, 2020, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  4. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s very appropriate that we remember who benefits, who suffers and who remains unaffected.

    Off the top of my head who benefits:

    The media /journalists 

    Hollywood

    Anyone fixated on central planning

    Politicians anyone in authority 

    Who remains unaffected:

    Anyone who works for the government, federal state or municipal 

    We know who suffers, ordinary working people in the private sector.

    So, those in power, and those who control the narratives are disproportionately incentivized by this emergency.

    And it’s all supposedly for “everyone’s” benefit.🙄

    • #4
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  5. OldPhil Coolidge

    I can’t like this post enough.

    Edit: @caryn Yeah, I probably piled on too fast here. Everyone is a bit too cranky.

    • #5
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Everybody loves a snow day, but after having the kids home for 3 days they are complaining–after a week the parents will be breaking down the doors of the schools to get things back to normal. When that happens, politicians will change their recommendations and craziness will end. Americans do not have the attention span for long stays at home. The collective will figure out the correct level of isolation. When people are dying in hallways, there will be amazing discipline otherwise, people will return to normal. 

    • #6
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:04 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Snirtler Member

    What about Trump’s skin in the game? Why is he countenancing overreaction and extreme measures that are tanking the economy? It’s his re-election on the line.

    • #7
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Richard Fulmer Member

    Over two decades ago, I was the technical lead for a large company’s mainframe software Y2K-remediation project. A bunch of us worked long hours for a couple of years and fixed millions of lines of code, as did other analysts in other companies around the world. On January 1, 2000, there were a few glitches, but things worked pretty well. After all the effort I’d put in, I was a bit miffed when pundits announced that Y2K was all a “hoax.” But no one died. And I can live with that.

    In the face of the corona virus, tens of millions of people around the world are taking basic, common sense precautions and thousands of healthcare personnel are working long hours and risking their health and their lives. If the virus ends up killing “only” a few thousand people globally, pundits will likely proclaim that it was all a hoax. And I can live with that.

    • #8
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:19 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  9. Hoyacon Member

    What is really the moral of this story? Don’t trust anyone–even a medical professional who has taken an oath–unless that person has “skin in the game”?

    • #9
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:22 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. MarciN Member

    Clifford A. Brown: If Dr. Fauci truly believes it is necessary to put hourly workers, waiters, bar tenders, and small businesses out of work, destroying them economically,

    Ironically, the at-risk group for this bug is also the most sensitive to the losses in the stock and bond markets. 

    • #10
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:26 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Snirtler Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What is really the moral of this story? Don’t trust anyone–even a medical professional who has taken an oath–unless they have “skin in the game?

    That’s how I read the OP.

    So again one could go on to consider the person with command responsibility. Trump knows he’s going to own the covid-19 downturn and risks his re-election. Why would he advocate a policy of overreaction? Unless it isn’t.

    • #11
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Following up on Franco’s #4 above:

    Who benefits:

    The elderly who are disproportionately at risk

    Who suffers:

    School children who do not get their education

    Especially working parents — who have to stay home to take care of their kids, and are advised against getting help from the grandparents.

    Big costs are imposed on working people, especially relatively young adults with children, for the benefits of elderly retirees. Kinda like Social Security and Medicare, on steroids.

    • #12
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Richard Fulmer Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Following up on Franco’s #4 above:

    Who benefits:

    The elderly who are disproportionately at risk

    Who suffers:

    School children who do not get their education

    Especially working parents — who have to stay home to take care of their kids, and are advised against getting help from the grandparents.

    Big costs are imposed on working people, especially relatively young adults with children, for the benefits of elderly retirees. Kinda like Social Security and Medicare, on steroids.

    There’s a 40 year-old cop from our neighborhood in critical condition with the virus.

    • #13
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  14. Snirtler Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    There’s a 40 year-old cop from our neighborhood in critical condition with the virus.

    That’s what some of the first-hand accounts from Italian medical personnel indicate. It’s deadly to the elderly, but can also make younger people gravely ill.

    • #14
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:40 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is extremely unfair to Dr. Fauci, one of the nation’s true public servants. He is in a no-win situation and is doing his best to balance competing needs. It seems like all of the precautions have been over blown. Seems. The problem with public health is that the people in charge are only noted for their failures. So, yeah, there tends to be error on the side of caution when something new comes on the scene, because you can be sure he’ll be crucified if the death toll climbs (of course…flu deaths are being ignored, but that’s the media and political world in which he and President Trump have to function). It’s all well and good for the armchair epidemiologists–those with not a jot of scientific training but plenty of arrogance (yes, you, Dennis Prager)–to second guess the experts and suggest that they personally pay the salaries of the affected public. 

    And the rest of you piling on? Really? Fauci is 79 years old and could have retired ages ago on rather a comfortable pension, I’m sure. Think of that. He’s working the hours he does for the small difference between what he’d get fishing in retirement and his actual take-home. I’m very fine with whatever he’s being paid (around $400K), because he’s more than earned it and because he could have been making a lot more in private practice or industry, but has continued at NIH for decades. Public servant. Yes, there are still a few. 

    • #15
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 33 likes
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Coolidge

    I’ve lost $1,500/month in income until at least September, and I have no idea how we’re going to make it. 

    So just tell me who to be mad at.

    • #16
    • March 16, 2020, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What is really the moral of this story? Don’t trust anyone–even a medical professional who has taken an oath–unless that person has “skin in the game”?

    Most medical professionals have skin in the game.

    We are risking our lives daily here.

    We have been tossed into combat with an empty rifle, no helmet and no boots.

    We have completely inadequate PPE and what we have will be exhausted in the next few weeks.

     

    We risk getting sick and bringing illness to our loved ones.

    My “social distancing” consists of seeing about 40 people a day in my face coughing and sneezing on me. Lots of them can’t be bothered to wear the mask we give them.

    Personally I’m getting tempted to say F### it, and take a 3 month sabbatical.

    If none of you can be bothered to take it seriously, I have no desire to go on a Kamikaze mission.

     

    • #17
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • 20 likes
  18. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… (View Comment):

    I’ve lost $1,500/month in income until at least September, and I have no idea how we’re going to make it.

    So just tell me who to be mad at.

    Oh thats easy.

    The Chinese Communist Party that ignored, lied and covered up this disaster until it was loosed on the world.

    • #18
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:04 PM PDT
    • 25 likes
  19. Hoyacon Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    If none of you can be bothered to take it seriously, I have no desire to go on a Kamikaze mission.

    In fairness, it appears a lot of people (here and elsewhere) are taking it seriously.

    • #19
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:07 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Ralphie Member

    Dr. Fuchi was wrong on aids. No one is infallible.

    • #20
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Speed Gibson Coolidge

    All Dr. Fauci can really do is make recommendations. As long as they are truly borne of fact and reason, I’m OK with that. It would appear that the President agrees, willing to put still more of his political skin in the game, if that’s even possible given the media’s continued obsession with his demise.

    • #21
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:29 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  22. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So, how would you do it?…would you put Dr Fauci on an incentive plan, where if he gets it right he gets a big bonus and if he gets it wrong, he forfeits all his assets? And how would you ever decide retroactively if he was right or wrong…if it doesn’t spread exponentially, was that due to the quarantines, or to some other factor?

    It’s true that government employees do tend to err on the low-risk side…but the actual decisions here aren’t made by Dr Fauci, they are made by President Trump and the various governors, who most definitely do have skin in the game as regards the economy.

    • #22
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  23. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What is really the moral of this story? Don’t trust anyone–even a medical professional who has taken an oath–unless that person has “skin in the game”?

    In Theory, if a medical professional under the Hippocratic Oath was charged with reducing traffic fatalities, speed limits would all be under 35 mph. First do no harm, doesn’t translate in the real world. Works great as a doctor treating a given patient, of course.

    So it’s not a matter of trust really. I trust his expertise but there are economic realities. They haven’t quantified suicide rates resulting in people losing fortunes, or just overall depression, domestic violence from prolonged periods of forced confinement, deaths and injuries from riots, possible political strife putting the future of the entire nation at risk, and just a myriad of unquantifiable exigencies resulting in massive economic upheaval. 

    • #23
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:49 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  24. Arthur Beare Member

    Decision makers in situations like this are in a no-win situation: damned if you do; damned if you don’t. 

    Many millions of families are going to suffer a great deal economically because of the restrictions in place. If the current program is successful, many will view it as over-reaction. If not, then it will be too little-too late (some people are already saying this). 

    And it is in no way clear what we will be willing to call success: there are certain to be more deaths. The stock market will recover fairly rapidly: grandma may not. 

    • #24
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  25. Unsk Member

    Talk about over-reaction, essentially in six Northern California Counties all non-essential businesses are to be shut down for three weeks:

    From Zerohedge:

    ” Six Bay Area counties announced a virtual public lockdown in the face of the rapidly expanding coronavirus pandemic aimed at slowing transmission of the deadly COVID-19 respiratory disease.

    Health officers for Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and the city of Berkeley, which has its own independent public health authority, announced the new “shelter in place” restrictions Monday amid a head-spinning flurry of new limits on public gatherings across the state and country.

    “Temporarily changing our routine is absolutely necessary to slow the spread of this pandemic,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Public Health Officer. “The Health Officers from the largest jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area are united and we are taking this step together to offer the best protection to our respective communities.”

    The announcement involves a legal order from the health officers of those counties directing their respective residents to shelter at home for three weeks beginning at midnight March 17. The order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs. The order will be in place until April 7 and could be amended to end later or sooner, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Monday.

    The order defines essential activities as necessary for the health and safety for individuals and their families. Essential businesses allowed to operate during the recommended action include health care operations; businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals; fresh and non-perishable food retailers (including convenience stores); pharmacies; child care facilities; gas stations; banks; laundry businesses and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence.

     (Governor)Newsom on Monday was expected to announce new protections for renters who fear losing their apartments as shutdowns put them out of work. There governor is also expected later today to clarify his latest order.”

    They are putting millions of people out of work for three weeks. Think about that. It is estimated that two thirds of American families live paycheck to paycheck. The Democrats of course want to put the burden on business because they like all the delusions commies they are think that there is a bottomless pit of money that these greedy small business people who are hoarding it away from their rightful owners the government bureaucrats. 

    In the bill making it away through Congress, which is another RINO sellout, Conservatives need to hang really tough and make it very clear that any burden borne by small business like mortgage payments on the apartments the Dems want landlords to give away to renters for free will be borne by the government, optimally the jurisdiction imposing this order, or their will be hell to pay. 

    • #25
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I was the first person to make a comment and I was pretty harsh. At this point, I don’t know what to believe in terms of best decisions. As I said, I don’t think Trump can threaten the doctors with losing their pay. But it is an interesting dilemma when you think about it: on the one hand, how do you weigh the potential loss of lives against the economics? We still have limited data on who will die, and then there are people who will defy the odds (with young people dying and old ones surviving). I’m a senior, but I have money put away and don’t have to worry about the economics. I’m also uncomfortable with the fact that essentially people will lose substantial income to protect my life. It seems this is a lose-lose situation for many people. We can lament earlier decisions, but this is where we find ourselves. I don’t know what else can be done at this stage.

    • #26
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  27. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Sorry, but the question “Does he care?” smacks of Clintonian drivel. It doesn’t matter to me if he cares, it matters to me if his team (and he is not doing this alone) is effective. Not perfect, effective.

    • #27
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  28. Franco Member
    Franco Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think the people, including Trump, who say the economy will come roaring back from this are spectacularly wrong.

    If I am right about that, ( I hope I’m wrong!) then I’m sure it will result in more ‘death’ than this virus would have caused in a less repressive scenario. Certainly more suffering, both physical and emotional. It’s just not quantifiable so we can’t cite numbers. But can’t we have some sense of the downstream destruction this will cause outside of data?

     

    • #28
    • March 16, 2020, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  29. Hoyacon Member

    Franco (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    What is really the moral of this story? Don’t trust anyone–even a medical professional who has taken an oath–unless that person has “skin in the game”?

    In Theory, if a medical professional under the Hippocratic Oath was charged with reducing traffic fatalities, speed limits would all be under 35 mph. First do no harm, doesn’t translate in the real world. Works great as a doctor treating a given patient, of course.

    So it’s not a matter of trust really. I trust his expertise but there are economic realities. They haven’t quantified suicide rates resulting in people losing fortunes, or just overall depression, domestic violence from prolonged periods of forced confinement, deaths and injuries from riots, possible political strife putting the future of the entire nation at risk, and just a myriad of unquantifiable exigencies resulting in massive economic upheaval.

    These are good points, but Fauci’s lack of skin in the game isn’t really the issue, is it? The issue is “trusting” Fauci within his area of expertise, and recognizing that it’s up to someone else to filter his comments through an economic lens. And that would be the case whether Fauci had skin in the game or not. 

     

    • #29
    • March 16, 2020, at 4:07 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  30. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I don’t know what else can be done at this stage.

    Keep calm carry on…

    • #30
    • March 16, 2020, at 4:20 PM PDT
    • 7 likes