In the Fox Hole with Fauci

In light of recent attempts by the Trump Administration to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci and make him a scapegoat to distract us from Trump’s abject failure to contain COVID-19, I think it is important for us to take stock of the character of these two men in a very straightforward manner. Here is the difference between Fauci and Trump in a nutshell:

When Fauci said early on in the pandemic that face masks were not effective (one of the things the Trump Administration is using to discredit Fauci), he was communicating a working hypothesis based on his understanding of the evidence at the time that wearing face masks would not keep you from contracting the virus. When the evidence became clear that wearing masks slows the spread of COVID-19 by protecting others from coming into contact with droplets potentially carrying the virus from our breathing, coughing, speaking, etc., Fauci changed his mind about the efficacy of masks based on his understanding of the new evidence and communicated his new position with transparency. This is what scientists do.

Trump on other hand does not base his views about masks based on scientific evidence. He bases them on vanity, political expediency, and whatever he thinks will mobilize his base. Trump doesn’t promote masks because he is afraid that by doing so he would be admitting that we really do have a big problem with a massive resurgence of the virus, and this goes against his narrative that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and that we are on the road to a great recovery.

Fauci – makes his statements based on his best understanding of the evidence and is transparent with the people about what he thinks is most helpful for their health and safety.

Trump – changes his message about the virus constantly with very little transparency and no regard (even an antipathy) for scientific evidence. What he tells us about the virus is what he thinks will get him re-elected even if it harms our health and threatens or even takes our lives.

In a battle against a deadly disease, there is no doubt that we need people like Fauci leading the fight, and people like Trump simply need to shut up until we vote him into the dustbin of history reserved for other demagogues who put their political and economic power over the well-being and the very lives of the people.

In the fox hole of the fight against COVID-19 or in the fight for truth in general for that matter, we need people like Fauci, and we should reject unequivocally Trump’s disingenuous and self-serving attacks on a true patriot.

About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. He is the Executive Director of the Leadership, Education, and Development (LEaD) Hub North America of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church and an Oklahoma Humanities State Scholar. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University or the United Methodist Church.
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