Covid Tsar Dr. Anthony Fauci has not said school closures during the pandemic were a mistake, but admitted they have had adverse effects on children while putting aside responsibility for the closures.
Fauci, 81, was on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday with interviewer Jonathan Karl, where he said closing schools has had “harmful side effects.”
Fauci, who first appeared at a COVID-19 White House briefing in February 2020, was questioned about whether officials were paying “too high a price” by keeping schools closed for more than a year, especially as the virus spreads. fewer children than adults.
“I don’t want to use the word wrong, Jon, because doing so takes it out of context you’re asking me about,” Fauci said. “I would say that what we should realize and have realized – that there will be harmful side effects if you do something like that.”
Fauci then noted that the death toll for children, which stands at about 1,500, is significantly lower than the elderly population — and claimed he had advocated keeping schools open.
“You can’t deny that it affects children, so it’s not without consequences. If you go back — and I’m asking everyone to go back — about the number of times I’ve said, “We’ve got to do everything we can to keep the schools open,” nobody’s playing that clip,” Fauci said.
Fauci complained that critical Americans blamed him for closing schools, but said he had nothing to do with it.
“They always come back and say, ‘Fauci was responsible for closing schools. I had nothing to do [with it]the health director said while acknowledging that he was not the head of the school board.
He added: “The most important thing was to protect the children.”
dr. Anthony Fauci refused to take the blame for school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. He recalled insisting that schools remain open and noted the impact of the closures
Fauci, who will be retiring in December, also acknowledged that as a result of the closures, children are scoring lower in subjects such as reading and math and have suffered psychologically.
He said, “The most important thing was to protect the children.”
Since the return of lockdown closures, ACT university admissions tests have hit their lowest point in more than 30 years.
The 2022 class average composite ACT score was 19.8 out of 36 — the first time since 1991 that the average score was below 20.
The test scores show that 42% of ACT-tested graduates in the class of 2022 did not meet any of the subject benchmarks in English, reading, science and math.
In comparison, 38% of the test takers in 2021 did not meet any of the benchmarks. Benchmarks are set up to measure how well students will do in university courses.
Fauci acknowledged that children were not as affected by the virus as adults, but noted that about 1,500 children had died from COVID-19
Fauci said he was in favor of keeping schools open. (Pictured: Colorado students being picked up from school)
During the ABC interview, Fauci grinned as he talked about how the pandemic turned him into an international celebrity. He noted that he hasn’t had to introduce himself since his first COVID-19 briefing in 2020.
The interview also revealed that Fauci has a pillow with his own face on it and a quote credited to himself: “It is what it is.” – on an armchair in his living room.
ABC didn’t share a glimpse of said pillow — but it’s on sale online for $40. Fauci wasn’t asked if he bought the pillow himself, or if it was a gift.
The interview comes as Fauci’s 54 years at the National Institutes of Health will come to an end at the end of this year, when he will step down from his position as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
dr. Anthony Fauci grinned as he shared how the pandemic made him an international celebrity in a recent interview with ABC
The interview revealed that Fauci has a pillow with his own face and a quote credited to an armchair in his living room, similar to the one in the photo
Karl recalled Fauci’s first time stepping onstage at a COVID briefing.
“I vividly remember your very first appearance in the White House briefing room in one of the COVID briefings, where a reporter yelled out, interrupted, and asked you to say your name,” Karl said. “I suspect this was the last time you were asked to identify yourself.”
“Yes, I think so, in fact a lot has happened since then, it’s been an amazing journey that we’ve all been on, and we’re still on it,” Fauci replied with a mocking smile.
Karl asked Fauci what it was like to become an icon.
‘You became an icon. It was quite wild to watch,’ Karl said. “There were Fauci bobbleheads. People had Fauci shirts that said ‘In Fauci We Trust’. You became someone the whole country turned to. How was that?’
“I was quite well known among my colleagues in science, but certainly not to the extent that it is now,” Fauci said. “You know, I actually think both extremes, Jon, are aberrations of a reflection of the divisions in our country.”
Fauci went on to explain that while many in the United States disagreed, he still considered the entire country his “patient.”
“I consider the country my patient in many ways,” he said. “And if you — if you’re a really good doctor, you worry and worry about every element of your patient.”
“Including how your patient will react to something you said?” said Karel.
“Exactly,” said Fauci. ‘Precisely. And even if the patient is someone who isn’t the most attractive person in the world in terms of personality, you should still treat him as you would treat anyone else. We learned that in medical school.’
Fauci speaks at a White House COVID-19 briefing on Feb. 29, 2020, one of his first appearances during the pandemic
Fauci holds his head as he stands behind President Trump at a COVID-19 briefing in March 2020
During the interview, Fauci also doubled down on his mask mandate recommendations, saying he wishes he could retract comments he made early in the pandemic that masks were not necessary.
“Will you take back what you said about masks?” asked Karel later.
“Yes,” said Fauci. “I mean, sure, if I had to do it again. Naturally. Again, if I tell you why we did it, that would be interpreted as an excuse, and I don’t want to go there, because that will only create resistance. If I had to do it again, I would have analyzed it a little better.’
The veteran health expert admitted he was wrong to put on masks after telling Americans at the start of the crisis that they were not necessary.
Fauci later became a big proponent of face coverings, claiming that he initially only advised against keeping supplies for doctors when they were in short supply.
He became an unpopular figure among many conservatives as frustration over COVID mounted, with the pundit even being forced to hire security after receiving death threats.
And retirement won’t necessarily protect him from lingering Republican anger, with Republican lawmakers pledging to investigate Fauci if they retake Congress in the meantime in November.
When asked how he hopes to be remembered, Fauci said he wanted to be remembered as someone who gave everything.
“I want to be remembered as someone who gave everything for the public health of the American public and indirectly for the rest of the world because we are such a leader in science and public health,” he said. “I mean, I just want people to know that I gave everything I had and left nothing on the pitch. I was all there.’
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