Anthony Fauci, M.D., the 79-year old head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has become the #1 point man on the government’s role in the coronavirus crisis. Fauci has worked for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) his entire professional life. In the past, for more than two decades starting in the mid-1980s, he was the medical establishment’s face of HIV-AIDS — omnipresent on television when AIDS was hot and ever present at international AIDS conferences well into the 21st century. Always, he was an enthusiastic advocate of throwing more federal money at the problem of AIDS. He’s widely praised in the press. He’s also held in high esteem by his medical peers. In 2008, President George W. Bush honored Fauci with the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
A look back at what Fauci and his colleagues did during their decades of pushing fear and the spending of billions of dollars of funding for HIV-AIDS is instructive.
As an independent journalist, I covered the “war” on HIV-AIDS extensively starting in 1986 — just as the massive effort to combat the condition was gearing up. Eventually, the government’s spending on HIV-AIDS came to eclipse what was spent on the failed war on cancer that began in 1971, which is where my reporting on the politics of medicine and cancer had started.
After seeing a March 9, 2020 tweet by Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., who has four degrees from MIT, I was inspired to take a look back to try to put Fauci’s current work on the coronavirus into some perspective.
One of the first things I found about Dr. Fauci, at the WikiLeaks Clinton email trove, was a gushing 2013 email that Fauci had sent to Cheryl Mills, one of Hillary Clinton;s top aides, praising the then–secretary of state for her congressional testimony on Benghazi.