During the coronavirus pandemic, it was rare to see media outlets criticize public health officials’ unprecedented mitigation tactics. Now it appears there was a concerted effort from the very top to silence dissenters.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins allegedly colluded to discredit a group of scientists who sought a more targeted strategy to the lockdowns, Breitbart reported. Rather than a universal shut down, the “Great Barrington Declaration” recommended shielding the vulnerable and elderly while everyone else went on with their lives.
Some in the Trump administration, including top officials like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, met with these scientists. This did not sit well with pandemic brass like Collins, who heads the National Institutes of Health, and Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Collins lamented that three “fringe epidemiologists” had met with Azar and were “getting a lot of attention,” he said in an email from October 2020 that was released through the American Institute for Economic Research’s Freedom of Information Act request. “There needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises,” Collins said.
Fauci and Collins also roped in Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus adviser at the time, into their scheme against the declaration. They erroneously tagged the strategy as reckless.
“Quite frankly that is nonsense, and anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you that that is nonsense and very dangerous,” Fauci said of the strategy. However, it seems other scientists agreed that allowing for natural herd immunity to develop in the young and healthy was wiser than locking everyone away.
Still, Collins does not back down from his original assessment of the scientists as “fringe” despite their sound reasoning. “I did write that and I stand by that,” he said. “Hundreds of thousands of people would have died if we had followed that strategy. I’m sorry. I was opposed to that. I still am and I’m not going to apologize for it,” Collins told Fox News’s Bret Baier last week.
Collins: “Hundreds of thousands of people would have died if we had followed that strategy.”
Uh … 🤔 pic.twitter.com/fRfll30RHk
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) December 19, 2021
The single-minded push toward universal lockdowns and vaccines for all crowded out any other strategy for dealing with the pandemic. Nearly two years into the Fauci plan, COVID-19 remains a widespread problem begging the question of whether following the Great Barrington Declaration would have been smarter.