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Tag: anthony fauci

Far-Right Commentator Issues Public Death Threat To Fauci

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Far right extremist commentator Josh Bernstein, an anti-vaxxer who recently contracted COVID after threatening a "lead injection" for anyone who tried to vaccinate him, appears to have issued an obscenity-laden death threat against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to the president.

"Let me tell you something, you sick, twisted garden gnome," Bernstein says in the video below which was posted by the watchdog group by Right Wing Watch.

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Republicans Claim Fauci Wants To ‘Cancel Christmas’

Republican lawmakers are livid at President Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci, accusing them of an attack on Christmas after Fauci noted that the pandemic might not be over by late December.

"The Biden Administration wants to cancel Christmas!" claimed Florida Sen. Rick Scott. "Americans are smart enough to make their own decisions. They don't want or need the federal government to decide how or when they spend time with their own families."

During a Sunday morning appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation, Fauci, the country's top epidemiologist, was asked by host Margaret Brennan whether it would be safe to hold family gatherings by Christmas. Fauci answered, "You know, Margaret, it's just too soon to tell.

We've just gotta [concentrate] on continuing to get those numbers down, and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we're gonna do at a particular time."

Fauci, who has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, has been a key member of the coronavirus response teams for both Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Last year, Christmas gatherings were followed by a major spike in COVID-19 cases.

With the Delta variant now dominant, the nation is still averaging more than 100,000 new reported cases daily. There is no evidence that the pandemic will be resolved in the next 11 weeks.

Still, an array of GOP lawmakers scolded Fauci and Biden and vowed to simply ignore public health concerns this December.

"I don't think anyone is going to be listening to Scrooge Fauci. I know I won't be," announced Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has frequently clashed with Fauci over whether to follow medical science.

"Fauci has lost all credibility with the American people," tweeted House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. "We aren't waiting on his permission to celebrate Christmas together."

"I would like to inform Biden and Fauci that regardless of what they say, Americans are celebrating Christmas," announced New York Rep. Claudia Tenney.

"Guess this means I'm throwing a giant Christmas party," said Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

"No one elected Fauci to be Christmas Czar," mocked Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs.

"This Grinch can move right along, the Boebert household is celebrating Christmas no matter what he says," tweeted Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. "And someone should let him know that tyrants only get coal in their stocking."

On Monday, Fauci told CNN that his urging Americans to get vaccinated "was misinterpreted as my saying we can't spend Christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case. I will be spending Christmas with my family, I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family."

The attack on Fauci and Biden is the latest salvo in the GOP's claim that Democrats are waging a "war on Christmas."

In 2016, Donald Trump said during his campaign for president that he would make sure Americans said "Merry Christmas" again if elected — as if everyone had somehow stopped saying it. He declared mission accomplished on that promise in 2017.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Suffer, Little Children: Anti-Vax, Anti-Masking, And The Faces Of Evil

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The origin of evil is an issue that would seem as difficult to fathom as the meaning of life, or the purpose of the universe. It's not. Evil is not simply when something bad happens. Hurricanes aren't evil. Not even a disease is evil. Evil takes understanding. Evil is when someone displays indifference or experiences pleasure in the face of suffering.

The worst sort of evil comes when empathy and consideration are replaced with a perverse joy, one that doesn't just refuse to acknowledge someone else's pain, but takes pride in dismissing the thought that others deserve consideration. And it looks like this.

What's happening in that Tennessee school board meeting is a tiny subset, a pixel in the larger picture, of what's happening on multiple issues across the country. Another part of that greater image can be seen when CNN asked Dr. Anthony Fauci about a statement by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. And in the responses of a school superintendent from Mississippi.

As CNN reports, children too young to be vaccinated now make up 26% of all new cases of COVID-19 cases. That number has grown enormously as schools have reopened for in-person instruction in districts where masks are not mandated and vaccination for staff is not a requirement. In fact, the total number of children infected across the course of the pandemic has grown by 10% in just the last two weeks.

That's because the reopening of schools, especially in areas where school boards have bowed to pressure—or the executive orders of Republican governors—and refused to institute mask mandates or vaccination requirements and are seeing an "explosions of cases." That explosion generated over 14,000 cases among students in Florida within the first week of classes. It resulted in thousands of cases in Texas, where district after district has been forced to suspend classes.

Florida and Texas may have been grabbing the headlines thanks to the deeply twisted statements from Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, but they're far from alone. In just four days in August, the Clarion Ledgerreports that over 5,700 students tested positive in a single week, putting over 30,000—6.5% of the state's total student population—into quarantine.

In this interview, Mississippi school superintendent John Strycker explains that he doesn't require masks in his school, even after a teacher died. Strycker says, "I'm confident in what we're doing."

Strycker: I wept. Okay? It's very hard on me. But when I'm making my decisions, I need to do the best I can to make non-emotional decisions.
Reporter: But your non-emotional decision is to do nothing.
Strycker: Right.

Strycker then claims that the children in his care are "safe relative to the other schools." In the first three week of school there, 6.4 percent of students have tested positive for COVID-19.

Following this interview, CNN moves to looking at the large Los Angeles unified school district where the superintendent has made very different decisions. At that school, every member of the staff is required to report their vaccination status and everyone—students, teachers, and visitors—is required to wear a mask. Over the same period, the infection rate in Los Angeles schools was 0.5 percent.

What's become clear across the nation is simply this: School districts that do not have a mandatory mask policy are very likely to see a high incidence of COVID-19 cases within a period of a few weeks. Those levels are very likely to lead to that school district being forced to quarantine a substantial subset of its student and staff population, and almost as likely to result in classes being suspended for a period.

The reason is simple enough: As much as anti-mask forces want to make wearing a mask an emblem of personal fear, it's not. The mask is simply societal responsibility. Masks reduce the rate of transmission of COVID-19, as well as other viruses, but they are really only highly effective if nearly everyone is wearing them. One person wearing a masks in a sea of bare faces gains very little, if anything, in the way of personal protection. If everyone is wearing masks, there is a large decrease in the spread of disease.

The same rule applies to vaccines. As NPR reports, DeSantis has repeatedly dismissed the role of vaccines as anything more than personal protection.

"At the end of the day though," said the Florida governor, "it's about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn't impact me or anyone else."

And as Dr. Anthony Fauci has made clear, DeSantis is "completely incorrect." Vaccines, like masks, do provide some protection to the individual, but their greater role is in breaking the chain of transmission. A high level of vaccination doesn't just protect the vaccinated, it protects everyone. Whether someone has been vaccinated definitely affects those around them.

"When you're dealing with an outbreak of an infectious disease, it isn't only about you," said Fauci. "There's a societal responsibility that we all have."

And there's that phrase again: societal responsibility—the need to take action that protects not just yourself or your family, but everyone in the greater society. What's missing from every insistence that masks or vaccines are a "personal choice" is that these choices have an impact on others. Saying that masks or vaccines don't affect anyone else is like saying that driving drunk doesn't affect anyone else. Or firing a weapon through a loaded room doesn't affect anyone else. These actions may nothave an immediate impact, but there is a recognized societal responsibility that makes them illegal even if they don't result in immediate loss.

What does evil look like? It looks like someone standing in front of a camera and saying that a decision that can cost the lives of thousands is a personal choice. It looks like that.

It also looks like these events at a charter school in Boise as reported by the Idaho Statesman.

At the beginning of the year, the board of the Peace Valley Charter School passed a mask mandate. But they rolled back that mandate after hearing from Dr. Ryan Cole—the same doctor who referred to COVID-19 vaccines as both "fake" and "needle rape." Following that statement, Cole was made a member of Idaho's Central District Health Board.

At a special meeting of the school board, Cole testified that masks didn't work and that there was "not one study" showing that masks could help stop a viral disease. Cole also testified that masks "retain carbon dioxide" and can cause "inflammation in the brain." None of these things has any basis in fact. (For reference, here's a large study showing that masks work and here's a broad review of the topic which confirms that effectiveness).

At that meeting, board members were also given a packet of documents, which included one titled "COVID-19 Masks Are a Crime Against Humanity and Child Abuse." The board reversed its vote, eliminating the mask mandate.

What does evil look like? It looks like a woman snickering at a child talking about his dead grandmother. It looks like a doctor knowingly passing along false information that places children and teacher in danger. Most of all, it looks like a governor denying that individuals have any obligation beyond self preservation, and pretending that societal responsibilities do not exist.

'Completely incorrect': Dr. Fauci pushes back on DeSantis' vaccine claim www.youtube.com

Wednesday, Sep 8, 2021 · 11:59:27 AM EDT · Mark Sumner

And as that Idaho school votes to drop mask mandates in response to disinformation …

Virus Cases Spiked 500 Percent Since Sturgis Rally Promoted By Noem

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The number of new coronavirus infections in South Dakota rose by nearly 500 percent after Republican Gov. Kristi Noem allowed the state's annual Sturgis motorcycle rally to take place.

Despite ongoing concerns about the virus, Noem actively encouraged attendance at the rally and appeared at a charity event held there.

South Dakota reported 3,819 new virus cases in the past two weeks, up from 644 cases in the previous 14 days. The Sturgis bike rally took place from August 6 to 15.

The rally and the subsequent rise in virus transmission numbers mirrors what happened in the state in 2020. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people attending the 2020 rally had spread the virus, including to people in other states.

Medical experts expressed concern ahead of the 2021 event, which was held even though the vaccination rate in the area is only 44 percent for people age 12 and older.

On August 8, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC's Meet the Press that he was "very concerned" that a COVID surge would be associated with the rally. Organizers did not mandate masks or vaccines for attendees.

A few days later, appearing on Fox News, Noem lashed out at Fauci and the Biden administration.

"It's shocking to me that he continues to pick on Republican governors, people who love their freedoms, and he ignores what's happening at the border," Noem said of Fauci. She also said Fauci "has discredited his entire profession by the positions he has taken during this pandemic."

Since Noem's statement, South Dakota has had the largest percentage increase in virus cases in the United States.

Dr. Shankar Kurra, vice president of medical affairs at Monument Health in Rapid City, South Dakota, told the Daily Beast, "It happened last year. It was just playing a reboot of last year pretty much."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Fauci: U.S. Can Control COVID By Spring 2022 -- If More Get Shots

By Susan Heavey and Carl O'Donnell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States could get COVID-19 under control by early next year if vaccinations ramp up, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday, one day after Pfizer won fuller FDA approval for its shot, with more potential approvals coming in the weeks ahead.

Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said in multiple television interviews and a White House press conference that full Food and Drug Administration approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine paves the way for more people to get inoculated, with potential approval for Moderna Inc's in the coming weeks and authorization for younger children by autumn.

"I would like to appeal to the people in the country who are not vaccinated to realize that we have the capability, among ourselves, to essentially cut down the time frame to getting to the end of this pandemic," Fauci, head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a Tuesday press conference.

"I think there's a reasonable chance" that Pfizer or Moderna could get FDA clearance for children under 12 before the upcoming holiday season, he told NBC News. "Hopefully by the mid-late fall and early winter."

U.S. officials during the Tuesday press briefing also urged private employers and more state and local governments to require staff to get vaccinated in a bid to drive up vaccination rates.

"Now is the time" for U.S. employers to start mandating vaccinations, White House COVID coordinator Jeffrey Zients said, echoing remarks from President Joe Biden on Monday.

Meanwhile, the White House is preparing to provide third "booster" doses starting in mid-September to Americans who received their COVID-19 inoculation more than eight months ago. The plan depends upon a thumbs up from the FDA and an advisory panel to the CDC.

"We want to make sure we stay ahead of the virus," Zients said, adding that "the plan is pending the FDA conducting an independent evaluation and outside experts... issuing a booster dose recommendation."

Fauci added that healthcare providers should also make more use of COVID-19 antibody treatments, including those from Eli Lilly & Co, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline Plc/Vir Biotechnology Inc. Such treatments can reduce hospitalizations and deaths by as much as 85% if used early in infected people, he said.

The United States is battling another wave of cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant. Hospitalizations and deaths are also rising, particularly in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and other parts of the U.S. South.

The average number of deaths from COVID-19 has risen by 23 percen over the previous seven-day period, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a Tuesday press call. The United States is now averaging 1,000 COVID deaths a day and over 150,000 new cases, according to a Reuters tally.

U.S. health officials have also noted the number of inoculations has also risen in recent weeks and say they hope Monday's FDA action spurs more people get their first shots.

The U.S. military, along with several businesses and universities, including CVS Health Corp, privately held Deloitte and at least one college football team, have moved ahead with COVID vaccine mandates since the FDA's announcement, which also buoyed Wall Street.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Carl O'Donnell; additional reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler and Lisa Shumaker)

Fauci Warns New Variant Is Grave Threat To Unvaccinated

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

COVID-19's highly infectious Delta variant has been causing considerable misery in the U.S., especially in red states with low vaccination rates. And according to expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, a COVID-19 variant that is even worse than Delta may wreak havoc in the United States if more Americans don't get vaccinated.

In an interview with McClatchy, the 80-year-old Fauci — who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is President Joe Biden's chief medical adviser — warned, "What we're seeing, because of this increase in transmissibility, and because we have about 93 million people in this country who are eligible to get vaccinated who don't get vaccinated — that you have a significant pool of vulnerable people."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of U.S.-based adults have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19. That figure is taking into consideration the U.S. as a whole; vaccination rates can vary considerably from one state to the next.

Some of the lowest vaccination rates are in deeply Republican states. The Mayo Clinic reports that the number of U.S. residents who have been at least partially vaccinated for COVID-19 ranges from 75 percent in Vermont and 72 percent in Massachusetts to 39 percent in Mississippi, 43 percent in Alabama and Mississippi and 49 percent in Missouri.

A major difference between the current COVID-19 surge that is pounding the U.S. and previous surges is that this one is, according to Biden's administration, a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Fauci told McClatchy, "Even if we vaccinated everyone today, we're not going to see an effect until the middle to end of September."

The more COVID-19 is allowed to spread in the U.S., according to Fauci, the more dangerous a variant that is worse than the Delta variant will be.

"If we don't crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated," Fauci told McClatchy, "then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter, giving it ample chance to get a variant — which, quite frankly, we're very lucky that the vaccines that we have now do very well against the variants, particularly against severe illness. We're very fortunate that that's the case. There could be a variant that's lingering out there that can push aside Delta."

Fauci added, "If another one comes along that has an equally high capability of transmitting but also, is much more severe, then we could really be in trouble. People who are not getting vaccinated mistakenly think it's only about them. But it isn't. It's about everybody else, also."

Dragging The Vaccine Refusers Out From Under The Porch

Let's say there's an outbreak of deadly parvovirus in your neighborhood. Your beloved golden retriever Red, however, goes into a full-scale panic attack at the sight or smell of a veterinarian. You know the disease is highly communicable and potentially fatal.

There's a reliable vaccine, but the dog won't listen. Runs and hides under the porch. Fights the leash like a smallmouth bass on a hook. Rolls over on his back and has to be dragged, panting and drooling. Maybe even bites the hand that feeds him.

God forbid you should force the issue. No vaccine shot for Red. Even a dog has his rights, after all, among them the right to die in agony while shedding the deadly virus all over the neighborhood.

Put that way, the whole national "debate" over the Covid-19 vaccine seems kind of crazy, doesn't it? When the vaccine refuser is a golden retriever, we take action because we understand that the dog can't be reasoned with.

(When I lived in the country, I learned to administer my own vaccinations. I also prevented the animals from watching Fox News. It only riles up the cows.)

That said, I agree with the Republican governor of Alabama. Asked what it would take to convince her constituents to get vaccinated—Alabama is among the least-protected in the nation—Gov. Kay Ivey responded "I don't know. You tell me. Folks [are] supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down."

Trouble is, folks tend not to have a lot of common sense when they're frightened. Not much more than their ancestors in 14th century Europe who blamed the Black Death on Jews poisoning wells. Also on Gypsies, beggars and foreigners generally. Many lepers were put to death.

Mainly, though, it was the Jews.

Dr. Fauci isn't a Jew, but he'll do for a certain kind of fool. I think we all know the kind I mean.

My man Charles P. Pierce of Esquire found an article about an Alabama physician on AL.com. Dr. Brytney Cobia wrote a Facebook post about admitting young, previously healthy patients to a COVID ward in Birmingham.

"One of the last things they do before they're intubated is beg me for the vaccine," she wrote. "I hold their hand and tell them that I'm sorry, but it's too late."

After they die, Cobia continued: "I hug their family members and I tell them the best way to honor their loved one is to go get vaccinated and encourage everyone they know to do the same."

"They cry. And they tell me they didn't know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn't get as sick. They thought it was 'just the flu'. But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can't."

She prays that people will learn.

Many white Southerners, Politico reports, "are turning down Covid-19 vaccines because they are angry that President Donald Trump lost the election and sick of Democrats in Washington thinking they know what's best."

Especially, of course, when they do.

Possibly they'll listen to Gov. Ivey or Dr. Cobia, but not soon enough, I fear. Besides, as in the 14th century, paranoia is worldwide. There was a recent anti-vaccine rally in London's Trafalgar Square, with a host of crackpots invoking imaginary, often self-contradictory horrors.

Vaccines are a Satanic plot for world domination; or they're a surveillance technology, turning your body into a 5G transmitter; or they alter your DNA; or they cause infertility. Or vaccines will just flat kill you.

Closer to home, the epicenter of the deadly pandemic surge in Arkansas, where I live, appears to be Branson, Missouri, the cornball country music capital of middle America.

"Branson has a lot of country-western shows," Dr. Marc Johnson, an epidemiologist at the University of Missouri School of Medicine told the Daily Beast."No vaccines. No masks. A bunch of people indoors and air conditioning, tightly packed, listening to music, possibly singing along, i.e. a superspreading [event]."

Yee-haw! The town's mayor has proclaimed "I DO NOT believe it's my place, or the place of any politician, to endorse, promote, or compel any person to get any vaccine." He's all about freedom and liberty, the mayor.

Only what about my freedom not to get infected because some country karaoke fan thinks Covid-19 is a hoax? Government and private employers can't force people to take the shot, but they can require them as a condition of employment. You already can't get into Yankee Stadium without proof of vaccination. NFL teams will likely require them too.

If people had any sense, you wouldn't have to drag them from under the porch. But history teaches that you must.

Anti-Vaxxer Faces Felony Charges For Deranged Threats Against Fauci

A Maryland anti-vaxxer is facing charges for threatening National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci over email-- going as far as to warn the face of America's COVID-19 response that he would be "hunted, captured, tortured and killed," among other things-- according to court documents that were unsealed on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr. committed two violations-- threatening a federal official and sending interstate communication containing a threat to harm, both of which are felonies.

The documents also include the absolutely deranged emails Connally allegedly sent to Dr. Fauci from late December of last year to as recently as last week.

"Hope you get a bullet in your comprised satanic skull today," read the subject line of one email sent on December 28, 2020.

In that email, Connally repeatedly refers to Dr. Fauci as an "elf," while describing in grave detail ways he wished the nation's top infectious disease expert would die.

Screenshot from UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V. THOMAS PATRICK CONNALLY, JR. affidavit.

Connally sent a second email that day under the same subject, encouraging Fauci to "put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger."

But the demented threats didn't end that day, as he sent a third email months later in late April where Connally wrote, "You will hunted, captured, tortured and killed, you sickening, vile, disgusting liar and fraud, you vile disgusting satanic elf."

Following this, he then sent a series of six emails threatening not only Fauci but also his family, according to the complaint.

In addition to terrorizing Fauci and his family, Connally also bombarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins with similar manic emails threatening the life of the health official.

"Drop the 'mandatory vaccine' talk, maggot, or you're getting 6 mandatory shots in your worthless satanist [f-slur] skull," Connally wrote Collins. "You and your buddies Gates and Soros too, you sick little fuck. I'll smash every tooth out of your [f-slur] skull."

Connally used an email account from "ProtonMail," a secure, encrypted email service based in Switzerland, to send the disturbing threats to the two health officials, according to the affidavit. An investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that the account belonged to Connally.

Fauci has been the subject of an increasing number of threats since late last year.

"I've chosen this life. I mean, I know what it is," Fauci told NBC's TODAY Show in April. "There are things about it that are sometimes disturbing. But you just focus on the job you have to do and just put all that stuff aside and try as best as possible not to pay attention to it."

Connally is expected to have an initial appearance in a U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, MD tomorrow before Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Sullivan, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ also notes that, if convicted, Connally could face up to 10 years in federal prison for threats against a federal official and a maximum of five years for interstate communication containing a threat.

"We will never tolerate violent threats against public officials," said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner in a press release. "Our public health officials deserve our thanks and appreciation for their tireless work, and we will not hesitate to bring charges against those individuals who seek to use fear to silence these public servants."