Yet another major Fauci misstatement, this time on silent spreaders
Over the years, some have maintained a running count of Anthony Fauci’s misstatements, which include both mistakes and apparent lies. It’s often hard to distinguish between the two, some having to wait until his emails are released via FOIA requests coupled with a study of his actions at the time; gain-of-function and lab-leak hypothesis come to mind. Of course, he never really admits outright when he’s wrong.
The dates for the links below to Fauci misstatements (not all necessarily distinct from one link to the next) are when the articles were published, not when the misstatements were made:
Six here (April 2020): The Gateway Pundit
Fifteen here (May 2020): Mark Simone
White House list (July 2020): The Sun
Five here (July 2021): Drew Holden
Gain-of-function (October 2021): The True Defender
Six here (November 2021): Martin Kulldorff
Lab-leak hypothesis (July 2023): Epoch Times
Masks (September 2023): New York Post
Silent spreaders (September 2023): Epoch Times
This last, an article authored by Tom Ozimek titled “People Rarely Transmit COVID-19 Before Experiencing Symptoms: Lancet Study,” on a topic which did not get enough press attention, reports that the August issue of the Lancet Microbe has a study which strongly suggests, contrary to the expert belief prevailing in the early COVID-19 era, that there was very little COVID transmission spread by the presymptomatic and asymptomatic, the so-called silent spreaders — the selfish, evil killers of grandma and everyone else. So little in fact, their impact was likely much smaller than assumed.
The authors are primarily from Imperial College London, including one Neil M. Ferguson. I wonder if the institution and Ferguson are trying to make amends for their past grossly inaccurate, panic-inducing model resulting in worldwide lockdowns.
In the study, healthy adult volunteers aged 18–30 not previously vaccinated or known to be infected were purposely administered intranasal COVID drops, put in isolation, and tested in numerous ways for viral emissions. It turns out 53% got infected. Here are the results:
Very few emissions occurred before the first reported symptom (7%) and hardly any before the first positive lateral flow antigen test (2%) [indicating that]…most contagiousness occurred after the participant felt unwell.
Since this experiment was conducted in a controlled environment, no assumptions had to be made, so it puts the onus on other researchers to prove differently. Here is what Fauci said in August 2020:
We didn’t realize the extent of asymptomatic spread…we fully realized that there are a lot of people who are asymptomatic who are spreading infection. So it became clear that we absolutely should be wearing masks consistently.
At least in this instance there were scholarly articles in prestigious publications such as Nature Medicine (April 2020), Science (May 2020), and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (July 2020), backing him up, attributing around 50% of COVID-19 transmission to silent spreaders. If anything, an all-star journal cast like this possibly being wrong should be a warning not to rush (if ever) into drastic measures like lockdowns. Amusingly, Fauci himself earlier claimed the virus was “not driven by asymptomatic carriers” — see The Sun link above — so it looks like he incorrectly flip-flopped on both masks and asymptomatic spread and then tied the two together. A pair of matching flip-flops are great for the beach, not so much for a pandemic. To be fair, with asymptomatic spread he flip-flopped to the universal position of the scientific community, but as COVID czar he still bears ultimate responsibility for being wrong.
How can the COVID czar be wrong on seemingly 20 COVID questions in a row each with 50/50 odds? Even utter incompetence couldn’t be that unlucky. You may remember this July 2020 quotable quote from Peter Navarro, at the time President Trump’s trade advisor, still relevant today:
Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on.
Remember this silent spreader issue if they try to institute harsh measures in the next COVID outbreak. It was the allegedly large silent spread which was used as a rationale for masking, social distancing, lockdowns, and contact tracing. If silent spread is small enough, not only could we make our own knowledgeable personal risk assessment, but maybe all we need to do concerning community spread is isolate when we have symptoms. Imagine what would have happened to a scientist in late 2020 who claimed — contrary to the Science™ — that silent spread is much smaller than thought. You know the spelling drill: c-e-n-s-o-r-e-d, d-e-f-u-n-d-e-d, c-a-n-c-e-l-e-d.
W.A. Eliot is a pseudonym.
Image: YouTube video screen grab.