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.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 156 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    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.

    There are no solutions, just trade-offs as Thomas Sowell has observed. I don’t think that Dr. Fauci is a bad guy but the system he works for is biased towards central planning and tends to ignore the economic problems caused by their policy. Maybe Dr. Fauci is getting everything right but we need to recognize that governments are biased. 

    • #61
  2. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Franco (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    But the point stands that Dr. Fauci and others might be over-focused on, and over-celebrated for saving lives with no other factors considered.

    Isn’t it the job of the political leadership to consider these other factors and meld them into a successful policy?

    Yes, but they can’t, because the media will crucify them. They have Trump right where they want him. This is a media-driven panic that’s exploding out of hand. The media and journalists directly benefit from the panic and they want to take Trump out. He’s forced to play along and take absolutely 100% precautions, otherwise it’s President Biden ( or Hillary).

     

    Bollocks. This is the time when a leader makes the hard choices and accepts responsibility for the outcome. 

    • #62
  3. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Franco (View Comment):
    I think the people, including Trump, who say the economy will come roaring back from this are spectacularly wrong.

    Well we came back from smallpox. 

    • #63
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    It’s little consolation, but I hear that in my area (Houston / Harris County) many places are hiring delivery drivers on the spot because there’s such high demand while people are avoiding crowds. It’s not much money, but might help some squeeze through a few weeks of umemployment. I assume it’s a nationwide trend.

    I certainly hope there is more of this, and it was my first thought on hearing about restaurant restrictions.

    • #64
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Oh, and now my wife is a permit clerk. Yep! Here in the Stephens Household we aim to tell people what sort of buildings they can build! The Tyranny! And of course, since she has the job, we can assume she is some sort of mindless, souless monster who delights in stomping on the liberty of builders who would never, ever, not in a million years cut corners and screw over customers. Because as we know, everyone in the private sector is pure.

    Government workers are OK, but I’m not so sure about the kind of government workers who expect to be loved and revered for their services, rather than loathed. (I’m saying this as someone whose employment put him into a quasi-government category, since I was getting paid in large part by tax dollars. I’ve thought about it for many years, and never held it against anybody that to them there was an unsavory stigma associated with getting paid with tax dollars.)

    I’d like not to be told I don’t care. Far too much, I guess.

    But hey, caring for the most mentally ill clearly is not worth praising if it is done by someone without skin the game. 

    This is an impossible situation for Trump and co.. By all means let’s bash anything they do. With 2020 hindsight they will have been wrong no matter what.

    • #65
  6. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    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.

    Exactly.  If this ends and there is no disaster, then we’ll know that it worked.  We already know how bad it could be by noting other nations that flubbed it.

    I’m sympathetic to Cliff’s arguments, and I am certainly not in a position to be taking any of the cuts I’m about to experience, but we have a plan and we’re going to execute it.  I prefer a plan to chaos.  

    The important point is that we avoid making anything permanent.  What I am always fearful of is not the short term, but very painful hardships but the long term political abuse.  The Patriot Act was the regurgitation of a power grab that was successfully resisted many times over several years.  When 9/11 came along the establishment power grabbers renamed their monstrosity and we’re still suffering from it.  What further degradation of our rights will this experience bring on?

    I’m not a pathologist or doctor or whatever expert studies such diseases.  I have to trust them because I don’t know any better.  I’ll grant them trust, but only so far.  I know it could possibly ruin me financially.  I don’t know what else to recommend, though.  I don’t want to trust them, but I don’t have much choice because I just don’t know what else to do.

    • #66
  7. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    I work in public administration as well. I also think the original post badly over-simplifies what Fauci is tasked with to an insulting degree. I guess the opposite argument would be to say that anyone who argues against these measures are animals who put their bank accounts above the lives being saved. Neither argument shows much understanding of public health, public administration, economics as well as many other disciplines.

     

    • #67
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    It should come as no surprise that the gradual break in trust in our institutions has us all questioning the wisdom of the “expert” class, regardless of which administration is in charge. This breach will not be healed easily.

    • #68
  9. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    RyanFalcone (View Comment):

    I work in public administration as well. I also think the original post badly over-simplifies what Fauci is tasked with to an insulting degree. I guess the opposite argument would be to say that anyone who argues against these measures are animals who put their bank accounts above the lives being saved. Neither argument shows much understanding of public health, public administration, economics as well as many other disciplines.

    Agreed.  Let’s turn down the heat.  Rational people can argue for different trade-offs without being evil.  If you’ve got a case for doing A instead of B, make it.  But yelling insults at people who choose B is unlikely to change any minds.

    • #69
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Dr. Fauci should absolutely get credit for his long public service. And. He must also own the apparent abject failure to actually prepare for this eventuality, to have in the national emergency stockpile sufficient respirators and pop-up modular tent hospital wards to isolate active cases needing medical support. We learned from Secretary Azar that we have “thousands” of respirators, as we should if we are prepared for a chemical or biological attack that would inflict mass respiratory casualties. How many? Oh, that is classified, “national security.”

    How’s about our civil servants just say straight out how much they can raise the line at which our medical system is actually maxed out? How about telling the American people we need to hold down the number of cases needed medical support to X, and for that reason, based on a worst or most likely case scenario, we need everyone to really sacrifice?

    And how is it that Dr. Fauci was blinded to day care centers presenting the same risk as schools? He clearly was, from his reaction in front of the camera. Based on his reasoning on restaurants and bars, how is the press allowed into the White House? How is the White House staffed, if cleared, why not locked into the building until the crisis lifts? Why are grocery stores OK, but not restaurants? 

    • #70
  11. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Let’s try this on a smaller scale. I’m an Undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security. I have information that a major American city is at risk for bioterrorism, and may be so for up to two weeks. The information is very credible, but not a certainty. If accurate, the number of deaths could approach 100,000 (many more sick), with an incredible stress on first responders, hospitals, and medical professionals. I’m receiving recommendations from the field that drastic measure need to be taken to minimize commerce and those coming in and out of the city. It’s essentially my call, but I live nowhere near the city, and I know little about how the economy really works. I have no skin in the game, but I know my stuff in terms of bioterrorism measures. My decision is obvious, right?

    Not really.  My decision would be to obliterate wherever the terrorists live so that they can’t attack us.  When I say obliterate, I mean turn them and their entire nation into glass.  I have no problem doing that whatsoever.  I’d do it in a heart beat before making one single American suffer.  So, no, not obvious.

    • #71
  12. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Franco (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    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.

    How do you know they haven’t?

    Judging from their press conferences – and I’ve watched every one – they haven’t touched on these issues and have even downplayed them.
    Are you implying that the calculus of lost lives versus these other, quite dangerous realities is an easy call?

    No. The opposite. 

    • #72
  13. Roderic Coolidge
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Fauci didn’t make up this threat.  The numbers are incontrovertible.   At the current  rate  of growth of the number of infected people we will see millions infected and dying in this country before the beginning of summer.  Independent experts estimate a 50 to 70% infection rate in the US.  That’s 5o to 70% of 327 million infected and 3 to 4 million dead or higher.

    Fauci is trying to get ahead of it to avoid the nightmare scenario of a shortage of medical critical care.   His recommendations are perfectly logical whether or not he’s a career  bureaucrat.  He has no choice but to assume the worst.

    And it wouldn’t have made any difference.  In a few weeks those business would all shut themselves down if the outbreak proceeded as the experts fear.

    • #73
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Agreed. Let’s turn down the heat. Rational people can argue for different trade-offs without being evil. If you’ve got a case for doing A instead of B, make it. But yelling insults at people who choose B is unlikely to change any minds.

    We can be glad we live in a country where we can hurl hot-tempered insults at each other. It’s better than the alternative.

    • #74
  15. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Agreed. Let’s turn down the heat. Rational people can argue for different trade-offs without being evil. If you’ve got a case for doing A instead of B, make it. But yelling insults at people who choose B is unlikely to change any minds.

    We can be glad we live in a country where we can hurl hot-tempered insults at each other. It’s better than the alternative.

    It’s not a binary choice between screaming insults or throwing punches.

    • #75
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Roderic (View Comment):
    And it wouldn’t have made any difference. In a few weeks those business would all shut themselves down if the outbreak proceeded as the experts fear.

    There is a big difference between the government shutting businesses down and businesses shutting themselves down, even if the same number of businesses get shut down either way.

    • #76
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Agreed. Let’s turn down the heat. Rational people can argue for different trade-offs without being evil. If you’ve got a case for doing A instead of B, make it. But yelling insults at people who choose B is unlikely to change any minds.

    We can be glad we live in a country where we can hurl hot-tempered insults at each other. It’s better than the alternative.

    It’s not a binary choice between screaming insults or throwing punches.

    True. A 3rd choice is that only official positions can be expressed. A 4th is that unpopular opinions are squelched by the majority. And there are others, as well. 

    • #77
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Kozak (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”?

    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.

     

    My number one prayer is that an immunity test is developed to check for antibodies so that we can identify those who can safely help others. 

    Then we could mobilize volunteers. That would at this point work faster and be more productive than a vaccine. We could replace vulnerable health care workers with immune health care workers. 

    The retirement community is divided into “early retirees” and “older retirees.” Not all retirees in their early sixties are useless. Some early retirees like me could help enormously in our local hospitals and nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. 

    In fact, when World War II broke out, the military sent the younger doctors overseas with the troops, and the older doctors came out of retirement to take care of the home front. 

    This is what we need right now. We need caregivers and helpers within our neighborhoods and then in our hospitals and clinics. And in our hospitals and labs, we could replace a lot of the vulnerable clerical workers with immune volunteers. 

    I keep wondering if China has already developed this test. I was fascinated a couple of weeks ago when I read they were sending 45,000 doctors and nurses and others into the Wuhan area to relieve the exhausted hospitals. In the picture, the relief workers were wearing masks, so probably they are not sure that they immune. 

     

     

    • #78
  19. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Let’s try this on a smaller scale. I’m an Undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security. I have information that a major American city is at risk for bioterrorism, and may be so for up to two weeks. The information is very credible, but not a certainty. If accurate, the number of deaths could approach 100,000 (many more sick), with an incredible stress on first responders, hospitals, and medical professionals. I’m receiving recommendations from the field that drastic measure need to be taken to minimize commerce and those coming in and out of the city. It’s essentially my call, but I live nowhere near the city, and I know little about how the economy really works. I have no skin in the game, but I know my stuff in terms of bioterrorism measures. My decision is obvious, right?

    I should hope that it is not your call. You should make your recommendation to the administration, which will balance your recommendation against other concerns that are not in your area of responsibility.

    Valid point, and I should’ve been clearer.  It’s my call to make the primary recommendation from DHS, which will be entitled to significant weight.

    • #79
  20. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    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.

    Politically speaking, in this current toxic environment, there is no such person.

    Then the President (and by extension, his close advisors) are bowing to “politics” more than I’ve seen to date.

    • #80
  21. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    But the point stands that Dr. Fauci and others might be over-focused on, and over-celebrated for saving lives with no other factors considered.

    Isn’t it the job of the political leadership to consider these other factors and meld them into a successful policy?

    Yes, but they can’t, because the media will crucify them. They have Trump right where they want him. This is a media-driven panic that’s exploding out of hand. The media and journalists directly benefit from the panic and they want to take Trump out. He’s forced to play along and take absolutely 100% precautions, otherwise it’s President Biden ( or Hillary).

     

    Bollocks. This is the time when a leader makes the hard choices and accepts responsibility for the outcome.

    Sorry, this response makes no sense. It sounds like an empty platitude. What, exactly, do you expect Trump to do?

    Here’s what I’m thinking ( hoping?). 
    He’s going along with all – this behind it 100% – and then, once the people get restless and fed-up with these draconian measures and there’s a desire to end this, he accedes to their wishes and  opens things back up, carefully. Declaring that the measures taken effectively slowed things down and bought us time – as was the original intent, and we have to get back to our daily lives. And people won’t be in a strong position to argue.

    How bout them bollocks?

    • #81
  22. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Agreed. Let’s turn down the heat. Rational people can argue for different trade-offs without being evil. If you’ve got a case for doing A instead of B, make it. But yelling insults at people who choose B is unlikely to change any minds.

    We can be glad we live in a country where we can hurl hot-tempered insults at each other. It’s better than the alternative.

    It’s not a binary choice between screaming insults or throwing punches.

    True. A 3rd choice is that only official positions can be expressed. A 4th is that unpopular opinions are squelched by the majority. And there are others, as well.

    We could even (now don’t laugh) discuss things quietly using facts and logic rather than verbal abuse.

    • #82
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):
    And it wouldn’t have made any difference. In a few weeks those business would all shut themselves down if the outbreak proceeded as the experts fear.

    There is a big difference between the government shutting businesses down and businesses shutting themselves down, even if the same number of businesses get shut down either way.

    The bigger difference might be government shutting down business with live workers who are still alive and remain that way, versus businesses shutting themselves down because workers are sick and/or dying.

    • #83
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl…
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Roderic (View Comment):
    Fauci didn’t make up this threat. The numbers are incontrovertible. At the current rate of growth of the number of infected people we will see millions infected and dying in this country before the beginning of summer. Independent experts estimate a 50 to 70% infection rate in the US. That’s 5o to 70% of 327 million infected and 3 to 4 million dead or higher.

    This seems wildly overblown.

    • #84
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Two cheers for Ohio Governor DeWine, who has, at the 11th hour, recognized that he must actually practice consistency to maintain credibility. Now he has shut down the presidential primary, scheduled for tomorrow. This properly aligns with his earlier announcement that he was shutting down all bars and restaurants. Consistency matters here.

    • #85
  26. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    There is a big difference between the government shutting businesses down and businesses shutting themselves down, even if the same number of businesses get shut down either way.

    One of those (multiple) differences would be the number of dead prior to the shutdown.  

     

    • #86
  27. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    Maybe I’m giving the guy too much credit, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the president knew he was screwed politically no mater what he did, and decided to do what he thought was the right thing, re-election be damned.

    • #87
  28. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    Maybe I’m giving the guy too much credit, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the president knew he was screwed politically no mater what he did, and decided to do what he thought was the right thing, re-election be damned.

    If so, then faster please.

    • #88
  29. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):
    Fauci didn’t make up this threat. The numbers are incontrovertible. At the current rate of growth of the number of infected people we will see millions infected and dying in this country before the beginning of summer. Independent experts estimate a 50 to 70% infection rate in the US. That’s 5o to 70% of 327 million infected and 3 to 4 million dead or higher.

    This seems wildly overblown.

    I saw that too and just rolled my eyes.  These are the kind of insane projections that are causing people to think the World is ending.  To put things in perspective, the entire country of China does not have millions infected or millions dying.  They don’t even have 100,000 people infected.  They have a little over 3,000 deaths and the disease already started leveling off a week ago.  3 to 4 million dead in the U.S. would be approximately 4,000 times higher than the Chinese death rate(!)

    We have to get real about this.  I wouldn’t be surprised if fewer than 500 people died in the U.S. from Covid 19 by the end of flu season.

    • #89
  30. Architectus Coolidge
    Architectus
    @Architectus

    DrewInWisconsin, Negative Infl… (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):
    Fauci didn’t make up this threat. The numbers are incontrovertible. At the current rate of growth of the number of infected people we will see millions infected and dying in this country before the beginning of summer. Independent experts estimate a 50 to 70% infection rate in the US. That’s 5o to 70% of 327 million infected and 3 to 4 million dead or higher.

    This seems wildly overblown.

    But, but, but…  It says the estimate was from “independent experts”!  So it must be right!  They are even smarter than just standard-issue experts, right?  

    • #90
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.