New York Times columnist Bret Stephens took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci Tuesday amid the Biden administration’s efforts to combat so-called coronavirus “misinformation.”
In a piece headlined, “Covid Misinformation Comes From the Top, Too,” Stephens stressed the “misinformation saga” goes beyond “charlatans peddling fake cures and political conspiracy theories,” pointing to the recent fiery clash Fauci had with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., over whether the U.S. government funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that may have led to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Fauci is almost certainly right on the technical merits … But the larger truth — obscured until recently by fervent efforts (including by Fauci) to dismiss the lab-leak theory for the origins of the pandemic — is that the U.S. government’s scientific establishment did support gain-of-function research that deserved far more public debate than it got,” Stephens wrote. “Also incontrovertibly true is that beneficiaries of that funding engaged in deceptive tactics and outright mendacity to shield their research from public scrutiny while denouncing their critics as conspiracymongers.”
He pointed to the explosive report from Vanity Fair last month that revealed State Department officials were told not to explore the Wuhan lab’s gain-of-function research because “it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of it.”