Mr. Science balks

For a long time, I sympathized with Dr. Anthony Fauci. There he was, trying to deal with a pandemic caused by a virus no one knew much about. Sure, he was often wrong about pandemic-related matters, but so were plenty of others, on both sides of the political spectrum and in between, who opined on these subjects. Everyone was shooting in the dark.

But at some point — possibly because of all the attacks on him, some of which were over-the-top, possibly because of a personality flaw or maybe old age — Fauci decided to cast himself as Mr. Science. Criticize him, and you’re anti-science.

In fact, Fauci is a career bureaucrat, not a scientist in any strong sense. Indeed, a true scientist would never view himself as science’s representative and try to win arguments based on such a claim.

Here’s what Fauci said yesterday on Face The Nation:

So it’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. I’m not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave. And that’s what I worry about.

(Emphasis added)

Fauci shouldn’t worry. Science will probably be fine once it gets a representative who is more scientific.