Stand by for Act III. While the rest of the world reeled with the discovery of a new COVID variant, Omicron, at least one person appears to be basking in the spotlight once again: Dr. Anthony Fauci. Reveling in his celebrity-like status on the Sunday shows, the president's pandemic mouthpiece didn't let the absence of scientific information hinder his discussion about the latest COVID variant.
In Fauci's latest media tour, the infectious diseases director dodged any substantive questions about Omicron and instead focused on stoking fear and painting himself as a political martyr.
"I've stayed away from politics my entire life," he told CBS's Margaret Brennan, and it's "painful and disturbing," Fauci claimed, to be attacked by Republicans when he "only cares about science and health." It's "outlandish politicization" of a public health crisis, he argued. "I'm just going to do my job, and I'm going to be saving lives -- and they're going to be lying."
Look, Fauci said, "if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci, well... 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. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave."
Anthony Fauci -- the man who can't make up his mind regarding the science on masking, who has completely ignored the science when it comes to natural immunity, who opposed Donald Trump's travel ban and called China's role in the pandemic a "conspiracy theory" -- is science? Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who's called for Fauci's resignation over his Wuhan research cover-up, couldn't believe man's audacity.
"The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science. It's astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing," he tweeted, "especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity."
But then, this isn't the first time Fauci has made himself out to be a scientific demi-god.
"It's very dangerous, Chuck," he claimed on "Meet the Press" back in June, "because a lot of what you're seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science, because all of the things that I have spoken about consistently from the very beginning, have been fundamentally based on science."
Well, apparently no one told science that, because the field has been disproving the doctor on a regular basis. Just this past week, new research in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people with natural immunity may get reinfected with COVID, but few got severely ill -- and none died. "There were no cases of critical disease at reinfection and 28 cases at primary infection for an odds ratio of 0.00 (95% CI, 0.00 to 0.64). There were no cases of death from COVID-19 at reinfection and 7 cases at primary infection, resulting in an odds ratio of 0.00," the authors point out.
Dr. Wesley Smith, who looked over the data and wrote a scathing anti-mandate article in National Review, says it's absolutely unconscionable that the administration (at Fauci's insistence) hasn't let the tens of millions of people who've survived COVID factor into any of their decision making:
"Yes, people with natural immunity can become reinfected. But people who are fully vaccinated can be infected too. The vaccines do reduce severity of disease and reduce likelihood of death. But apparently, so does natural resistance caused by surviving a primary infection. This being so, what justifies forcing persons with natural immunity to accept the vaccine when they already are protected against severe disease? What justifies firing such persons from employment?"
Good question -- and the White House's refusal to answer it suggests there's an agenda other than the health of Americans at work. The president alluded to it Friday when he declared that "we're going to be cautious" about Omicron. "We don't know a lot about the variant except it is a great concern, seems to spread rapidly." This, even after the country who discovered the strain -- South Africa -- says the symptoms are "mild." But this president knows from the last several months that stoking fear is the only way to accomplish the Left's real goal: exercising tyrannical control over hundreds of millions of Americans.
Fauci made that quite clear with ABC's George Stephanopoulos when the host asked if we should expect to see "more lockdowns...more mandates?" The doctor responded that the United States should "be prepared to do anything and everything" (including -- we can presume from the last 10 months -- relinquish our fundamental freedoms). "This is a clarion call, as far as I'm concerned, of saying let's put aside all of these differences...and say if you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you're fully vaccinated, get boosted. And get the children vaccinated."
It's the same pandemic playbook we've seen from Biden since day one. Never let a good crisis go to waste, Democrat Rahm Emanuel used to say. The Left has leaned into that advice since the first case of COVID in America, using every possible pandemic ploy to push an agenda that's nothing but a massive power grab. Unfortunately for Biden, the country is less and less willing to see the president's "cure" -- more government, less freedom -- as anything but the problem.
Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Family Research Council.