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Issue 05 – Saint Anselm 2021

The Jungle

Doctor Who

On Dr. Anthony Fauci.


On December 23, 2020, when others were preparing for a different nativity, the mayor of Washington, D.C., announced that the following day, the great man’s eightieth birthday, would be known in her city as “Dr. Anthony S. Fauci Day.” It was an odd way to pay tribute to someone who had done so much to ruin other people’s Christmases. A week earlier, Fauci had discouraged Americans from traveling to visit family, calling it “just one of the things you’re going to have to accept as we go through this unprecedented challenging time.” In medieval Europe, even lepers were allowed to enter cities to beg alms at Christmas.

Who was this man whose birthday outranked Christmas Eve in the nation’s capital? Officially, he is the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a post he has held for the last thirty-six years, during which time the N.I.A.I.D. has gone from the sixth-highest funded of the National Institutes of Health to the second. He is both a bureaucrat and a researcher, having rejected multiple offers to head the N.I.H. because the promotion would take him away from the lab bench. Sally Quinn, who has a nose for D.C. power if anyone does, met Fauci at a dinner party and he made such an impression that she decided to make him the hero of her next romance novel—“Dr. Michael Lanzer,” forbidden lover of the First Lady, whose “square jaw and high cheekbones” give him “almost oriental or Indian features which belied his coloring.”

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About the author

Helen Andrews

Helen Andrews is editor of the American Conservative and the author of Boomers: The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster.

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