Fauci, who was tapped by President Biden during the transition to become a White House adviser in the new administration, was the subject of a flattering piece published by the Times on Sunday about his tenure working for President Trump.
“For Dr. Fauci, 80, the past year has stood out like no other. As the coronavirus ravaged the country, Dr. Fauci’s calm counsel and commitment to hard facts endeared him to millions of Americans,” the Times wrote.
However, critics pointed to a Times report in December about Fauci’s apparent dishonestly about how much herd immunity would be enough.
“In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying ’70, 75 percent’ in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said ’75, 80, 85 percent’ and ’75 to 80-plus percent,'” the Times reported.
“In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks,” the report continued.
Herd immunity is when a large percentage of a specific population becomes immune to a virus; immunity can happen naturally or by way of vaccines to prevent viral infections like the flu and COVID-19.
“[Fauci] admitted to the New York Times a few weeks ago that he lied to the American public about the herd immunity threshold because he didn’t think we could handle the truth,” Daily Caller reporter Chuck Ross reacted to the recent Times excerpt.
“If Fauci was your personal doctor you wouldn’t be seeing him anymore for the amount of times he’s lied to you,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller wrote.
While Fauci has earned uncritical treatment from the press ever since he became the media darling of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, critics have long pointed to his history of inconsistencies during the pandemic, most notably his early dismissal of the importance of mask wearing.