Category Archives: Science And Society

Anthony Fauci

Jim Meigs reviews his book:

Anthony Fauci, whose early career did so much to improve human health, leaves behind a tainted legacy. He and his colleagues abused their authority, overreached on lockdowns and vaccine policies, and dissembled about dangerous research that his agency funded. The populist backlash to these excesses is still building. The public’s growing distrust of medical experts—and new skepticism toward all vaccines—is a public-health timebomb.

It is tempting to attribute Fauci’s late-career lapses to some personal moral deficiency. I think that’s the wrong tack. Fauci’s ethical shortcomings weren’t personal so much as institutional; he had been given enormous authority while being almost completely insulated from political oversight. Even the president could not easily fire him. And his centralized control over massive research budgets meant that few scientists were willing to challenge his claims or policies.

Over the decades, Fauci came to see himself as infallible. He represented “science.” Instead of welcoming contrary views, as he did during the AIDS years, the older, more thin-skinned (and more institutionally entrenched) Fauci resented criticism and tried to silence dissent. If not for the persistent pushback from a few bold scientists, journalists, and lawmakers, he might have succeeded in shutting down crucial debates entirely. No federal official should have so much power, with so little accountability, for so long.

Few people have the probity to withstand the temptations of that kind of power.


Yet another study on its supposed benefits.

They lose me right off the bat when they compare it to the “benefits” of the Mediterranean diet. I don’t think there is any value at all in restricting red meat and fat intake.

Anyway, I suspect that even if the correlation is causation, it’s not clear that it will work for everyone. If coffee has no discernible effect on me (which it doesn’t) other than making me brush my teeth more to get rid of the foul aftertaste, then it seems unlikely that I will derive any health benefits from choking the swill down.