Tag Archive for: school closures

Fauci Claims He Had ‘Nothing to Do’ With School Closures. His Own Statements Suggest Otherwise

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent dodge on school closures is at odds with many of his own statements.

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith once quipped, “Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.”

The line comes to mind after watching Dr. Anthony Fauci’s interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl over the weekend. In the interview, Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was asked whether it was a “mistake” for schools to remain shut down for so long during the pandemic.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘mistake,’ Jon, because if I do, it gets taken out of the context that you’re asking me the question on,” Fauci explained on Sunday. “We should realize, and have realized, that there will be deleterious collateral consequences when you do something like that.”

Fauci is correct that there were serious “deleterious” consequences of school closures. For example, it was recently reported that the class of 2022 saw average ACT scores plummet to the lowest level in more than thirty years, and there’s no reason to believe that younger students didn’t experience similar results. Lost learning is hardly the only “deleterious” consequence, however; the decline of mental health among youths during lockdowns has also been well chronicled.

Some may see Fauci’s response as reasonable, because he’s now acknowledging the collateral damage of these policies. The problem is that Fauci is not actually conceding anything. Nobody—and I mean nobody—ever believed you could shut down schools (and society more broadly) for any meaningful amount of time and not experience some “deleterious” consequences.

But it gets worse. Fauci goes on to claim he had nothing to do with the damaging policy.

“I ask anybody to go back over the number of times that I have said we’ve got to do everything we can to keep the schools open, no one plays that clip,” Fauci told Karl. “They always come back and say, ‘Fauci was responsible for closing schools.’ I had nothing to do [with it].”

Fauci may not have sat on a school board or wielded police power during the pandemic, but his claim that he bears no responsibility for school closing takes chutzpah. It’s undeniable that many schools, cities, and state governments shut down schools precisely because of what the White House’s top medical advisor was saying, and what Fauci was saying was clear.

The journalist Jordan Schachtel has a timeline of Fauci’s statements on school reopenings, and it’s worth examining.

Fauci calls for a nationwide shutdown of schools.

“The one thing I do advise and I said this in multiple hearings and multiple briefings, that right now we have to start implementing both containment and mitigation. And what was done when you close the schools is mitigation.”

The New York Times, America’s paper of record, reports that Fauci ‘gave his blessing’ to Mayor Bill DeBlasio to shut down the New York City school system.

Fauci slams Ron DeSantis after the Florida governor announced he wanted to get schools open “as soon as possible.”

“If you have a situation where you don’t have a real good control over an outbreak and you allow children together, they will likely get infected,” Fauci stated.

Fauci has a testy exchange with Sen. Rand Paul, who argued schools should remain open.

Fauci dismissed the idea that schools should be opened back up fully because “we don’t know everything about the virus.”

CNBC reports: Fauci then turned Paul’s own phrasing on him. “You used the word we should be ‘humble’ about what we don’t know. I think that falls under the fact that we don’t know everything about this virus, and we really had better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children,” Fauci said. “Because the more and more we learn, we’re seeing things about what this virus can do that we didn’t see from the studies in China or in Europe. For example, right now children presenting with Covid-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome,” Fauci said.

In August and September, Fauci was singing the same tune. Schools could open for instruction—after the virus was under control.

Fauci’s about-face did not go unnoticed. Other health researchers questioned his attempt to distance himself from school closures.

“Why is he saying he did not encourage, suggest and recommend lockdown and school closure?” asked Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. “Certainly he didn’t make the call by himself, but he used the weight of his reputation in science to advocate for these policies… .”

This is not the first time Fauci has attempted to deflect blame for school closures and lockdowns. In a July interview with Newsweek deputy editor Batya Ungar-Sargon, Fauci was asked if he would recommend closing schools again, considering the amount of collateral damage the policies caused.

“First of all, I didn’t recommend locking anything down,” Fauci responded, adding that that was the purview of the CDC.

Fauci was correct that it was the proper purview of the CDC to make specific policy recommendations, not the head of NIAID, whose job was to see that his agency provided sound scientific research to the CDC. Yet this did not seem to stop the doctor from becoming essentially the official spokesman of the federal government’s public health response, conducting literally hundreds of interviews during the pandemic and posing for numerous magazine shoots. (Many public health experts I’ve spoken with say this is precisely why science became so politicized during the pandemic.)

Now that these policies are rightly being criticized for their “deleterious” consequences, Fauci—who grew quite wealthy as a result of all the media attention he received—is claiming he had “nothing to do” with the policies.

Fauci’s claims are almost too hard to believe, but they call to mind a piece of wisdom from economist Thomas Sowell.

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong,” Sowell once observed.

The pandemic shows just how right Sowell was.


Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Unions Quiet As NYC Poised To Fire 7,800 Unvaxxed Teachers

Unions representing the approximately 7,800 teachers who will lose their jobs have been largely silent about mass firings due to New York City’s vaccine mandate.

New York City teachers must get vaccinated by Friday in order to keep working, The New York Times (NYT) reported. While several New York City unions have criticized the rushed implementation of the mandate and expressed concern over the looming issue of understaffed schools, unions have been largely silent on the issue of firing unvaccinated teachers.

The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators in New York City criticized the city for going forward with the mandate before addressing the impending staffing shortage, calling it “dangerous and irresponsible” to allow schools to operate so understaffed.

The president of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) similarly called for the city to delay the mandate’s implementation, stating that schools “are not ready for the implementation of the vaccine mandate.”

When asked how the union would support unvaccinated workers, a spokesperson for UFT directed the Daily Caller to its vaccine mandate and exemptions page, which explains that teachers without a vaccine or a valid exemption may choose between termination and unpaid leave.

“Permanent medical exemptions … will only be considered where the individual has a documented allergic reaction such that the member cannot receive any of the three authorized COVID-19 vaccines,” the page states.

The American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and AFL-CIO did not respond to the Daily Caller’s requests for comment.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city has thousands of substitute teachers on standby, the Wall Street Journal reported. Only about one-third of its chapter leaders believe their schools can open without disruption, according to UFT.

The New York City Mayor’s Office announced Monday that 90% of the city’s approximately 78,000 teachers were vaccinated. Teachers who have not received their first shot by midnight Friday will be removed from payroll Monday morning, according to NYT.


Laurel Duggan

Education Reporter.


De Blasio’s Vaccine Passports Will Hit Minority, Poor Communities The Hardest

How Mask Mandates Caused Democrats To Embrace A Longtime Conservative Policy

EDITORS NOTE: This The Daily Caller Column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.