- Dr. Anthony Fauci said that “anti-science bias” in the US is problematic.
- He suggested that actions taken by President Donald Trump further pushed the bias.
- Trump has gone against expert advice in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, from pushing for a swift reopening, to not wearing a mask, and even touting unproven treatments.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious disease expert, said that “anti-science bias” in the US is problematic.
“One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are — for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable — they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority,” Fauci said on a US Department of Health and Human Services’ podcast “Learning Curve.”
Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also stood by the measures he’s continuously advised for limiting the spread of the coronavirus including stay-at-home orders, which he said helped save millions of lives.
As the country reopens, Fauci has warned of a reemergence of cases and the need for testing and contact tracing to prevent more infections and deaths. He’s advised people to avoid crowded areas and wear masks in public to avoid further spreading the virus.
On the podcast, he said that reasoning for choosing to willfully ignore science despite obvious risks to health is “inconceivable.”
“So when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that — and that’s unfortunate because, you know, science is truth,” Fauci said.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly pushed to reopen the country despite experts warning that cases will go up. Trump will host a rally on June 20 in Tulsa, which is feared to become a super-spreading event for the virus. While attendees have to sign a waiver that they won’t sue the campaign if they contract coronavirus, they will not be required to wear masks, and socially distancing is virtually impossible.
The president has refused to wear masks while in public and suggested they gave off an appearance of weakness, despite evidence that they can reduce the risk of transmission.
He’s also pushed for the use of hydroxychloroquine and even said he personally began taking it even when there was little evidence to suggest it worked at preventing or treating coronavirus. Its temporary authorization to be used on COVID-19 patients in hospital settings was rescinded by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.
Trump has also suggested that people ingest disinfectant to cure themselves of the coronavirus, but later said he was joking.
Fauci said that science was the “attempt, in good faith, to get to the facts,” and said it was a “self-correcting” process.
He drew parallels between people who refuse to abide by evidence-based health advice during this pandemic, to anti-vaxxer who deny the benefits of vaccines despite research that proves they’re safe and effective.
“If you go by the evidence and by the data, you’re speaking the truth and it’s amazing sometimes, the denial there is,” Fauci said. “It’s the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers—who don’t want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines. That’s really a problem.”