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. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    No.

    How is someone a slave for 9 months a year and free the rest. One is a slave or not.

    use of the word “slavery” is hyperbolic in and of itself.

    No, it’s not true that one is a slave or not. Historians have shown that there have been many types and gradations of slavery, to the point that sometimes it has been hard to draw the line between slavery and non-slavery. But I’ll grant you your hyperbole if you grant me mine. Deal?

    I think there is something to the idea of “virtual slavery”. And I think one definition of slavery is one person ‘owning’ another, whereas the other is having the fruits of your labor being appropriated to others. In fact, there doesn’t need to be actual chains and whips, just the threat of them. 
    Most slaves in various cultures were not whipped or chained. Hey, they got free food, free housing and free medical care! Our socialist friends are actually advocating for their own enslavement.

    • #151
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Franco (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    No.

    How is someone a slave for 9 months a year and free the rest. One is a slave or not.

    use of the word “slavery” is hyperbolic in and of itself.

    No, it’s not true that one is a slave or not. Historians have shown that there have been many types and gradations of slavery, to the point that sometimes it has been hard to draw the line between slavery and non-slavery. But I’ll grant you your hyperbole if you grant me mine. Deal?

    I think there is something to the idea of “virtual slavery”. And I think one definition of slavery is one person ‘owning’ another, whereas the other is having the fruits of your labor being appropriated to others. In fact, there doesn’t need to be actual chains and whips, just the threat of them.
    Most slaves in various cultures were not whipped or chained. Hey, they got free food, free housing and free medical care! Our socialist friends are actually advocating for their own enslavement.

    Before the American Revolution, some of our founders were making noises about how the Brits intended to make slaves of them with their policies of centralization and rationalization. The Brits were indeed intending to rule America more like they already ruled in Ireland. But slavery? Maybe it was hyperbole, but they certainly intended to make the Americans a lot less free to govern themselves than they had been.

    • #152
  3. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn
    @Caryn

    Franco (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Consider: If the various quarantines were *not* put in place….and it turned out that the virus reached Italy levels here, or even worse…then the economic damage would surely be *far* worse than what it will be from the measures that are currently being taken.

    No, it wouldn’t. Italy levels remain quite low, with only about 27,000 total cases. It will get a bit worse, and might get a lot worse, but the trendline is quite favorable over the past few days.

    The danger are the estimates that were being made, by apparently serious experts, that we should expect around 100 million cases in the near future. None of the data are trending that way.

    The trouble with the ‘data’ on this is aggregating all kinds of different cases into one giant bag is pseudoscientific. Seattle had 27 cases in one badly run nursing home, skewing the number for Washington and the entire USA.

    Northern Italy had a large ex-pat migrant Chinese population from Wuhan, larger numbers of elderly smokers, a slow reaction and a government run health care system.

    It’s not pseudoscience.  It’s meta analysis.  It’s a recognized method of aggregating data, with known down-sides and, for now, it’s all we have.  It can also be instructive when the samples are large enough to stratify across like variables.  Here’s a nicely presented pair of blog entries on a solid statistics site on the risks and benefits of meta-analysis.

    • #153
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Caryn (View Comment):
    It’s not pseudoscience. It’s meta analysis. It’s a recognized method of aggregating data, with known down-sides and, for now, it’s all we have. It can also be instructive when the samples are large enough to stratify across like variables. Here’s a nicely presented pair of blog entries on a solid statistics site on the risks and benefits of meta-analysis.

    Those are good articles, because they agree with my suspicions about the use of meta-analysis in ecology. But I’m now so far removed from that field of research that I’ve never bothered to get into the weeds to see if my suspicions were justified in any cases.  

    • #154
  5. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Consider: If the various quarantines were *not* put in place….and it turned out that the virus reached Italy levels here, or even worse…then the economic damage would surely be *far* worse than what it will be from the measures that are currently being taken.

    No, it wouldn’t. Italy levels remain quite low, with only about 27,000 total cases. It will get a bit worse, and might get a lot worse, but the trendline is quite favorable over the past few days.

    The danger are the estimates that were being made, by apparently serious experts, that we should expect around 100 million cases in the near future. None of the data are trending that way.

    The trouble with the ‘data’ on this is aggregating all kinds of different cases into one giant bag is pseudoscientific. Seattle had 27 cases in one badly run nursing home, skewing the number for Washington and the entire USA.

    Northern Italy had a large ex-pat migrant Chinese population from Wuhan, larger numbers of elderly smokers, a slow reaction and a government run health care system.

    It’s not pseudoscience. It’s meta analysis. It’s a recognized method of aggregating data, with known down-sides and, for now, it’s all we have. It can also be instructive when the samples are large enough to stratify across like variables. Here’s a nicely presented pair of blog entries on a solid statistics site on the risks and benefits of meta-analysis.

    Without getting too picky, including outliers as cited above in bold and incorporating them into a relatively small sample, then calling it “meta analysis” is bordering on fraud. Certainly it’s misleading.

    • #155
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Consider: If the various quarantines were *not* put in place….and it turned out that the virus reached Italy levels here, or even worse…then the economic damage would surely be *far* worse than what it will be from the measures that are currently being taken.

    No, it wouldn’t. Italy levels remain quite low, with only about 27,000 total cases. It will get a bit worse, and might get a lot worse, but the trendline is quite favorable over the past few days.

    The danger are the estimates that were being made, by apparently serious experts, that we should expect around 100 million cases in the near future. None of the data are trending that way.

    The trouble with the ‘data’ on this is aggregating all kinds of different cases into one giant bag is pseudoscientific. Seattle had 27 cases in one badly run nursing home, skewing the number for Washington and the entire USA.

    Northern Italy had a large ex-pat migrant Chinese population from Wuhan, larger numbers of elderly smokers, a slow reaction and a government run health care system.

    It’s not pseudoscience. It’s meta analysis. It’s a recognized method of aggregating data, with known down-sides and, for now, it’s all we have. It can also be instructive when the samples are large enough to stratify across like variables. Here’s a nicely presented pair of blog entries on a solid statistics site on the risks and benefits of meta-analysis.

    I appreciated Dr. Birx’s response on numbers and models:

    Q    Okay, thank you.  Can you give us a sense of how long these tough, new restrictions will need to be in place until we start to see the rate of this virus going down?

    Also, can you speak to this study that as many as 2.2 million people in the United States could die if there weren’t this type of action by the government taken?  To what extent did that prompt what we saw yesterday?

    DR. BIRX:  So, I think, you know, models are models.  And they’re based on input, and they’re based on infectiousness without any controls.  I can tell you we’ve never seen that level of infections that modeled up to that 2.2 million in mortality.

    So we are looking at that.  We are having a particularly model meeting tomorrow.  I think that’s really going to be important.  I’ve dealt with a lot of modelers in my time.  They’re wonderful people, but they all have their favorite inputs, and they all have their favorite integration functions.  So we’re evaluating all of those so we can integrate and create the best model for the United States based on the best data.  And that first set of recommendations you saw were based on what we could do today to prevent anything that looks like that.

    • #156
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