One of the most unscientific things being repeated in our modern society is the idea that the “science is settled” and while that's often used to describe the debate about climate change, it's also been tossed around in various ways when it comes to the COVID-19 virus.
Specifically, Dr. Anthony Fauci seems to believe that the science is settled because he is the science, and any disagreement with him is effectively disagreeing with science in general.
“If you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you're really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you are attacking science,” Fauci told Chuck Todd back in June last year.
Fauci would go on to say much the same thing on Face the Nation in November.
“They're really criticizing science because I represent the science. That's dangerous,” he said.
It's a claim that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has always had a problem with.
“The absolute hubris of someone claiming THEY represent science. It's astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity,” Paul tweeted after Fauci's Face the Nation interview.
On Tuesday, Paul confronted Fauci about this very thing, calling him out for his ridiculous claim that he represents the science and that doing so isn't just irresponsible, it's dangerous.
“The idea that a government official like yourself would claim unilaterally to represent science and that any criticism of you would be considered a criticism of science itself is quite dangerous,” said Paul.
.@RandPaul to Fauci: "[T]he idea that a government official like yourself would claim unilaterally to represent science and that any criticism of you would be considered a criticism of science itself is quite dangerous…It is cheap politics & it is reprehensible." pic.twitter.com/b6JCaaHQTR
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 11, 2022
Paul continued by pointing out that Fauci's position allows him to effectively rule through mandate via proper channels, but that his fallibility makes his mistakes compound, especially when the “central planner” in question claims he's the ultimate authority in matters, which is an arrogance that could lead to dangerous consequences. It also allows him to threaten and destroy other scientists who may disagree or have a different take on the data.
Paul read off an email from Fauci where he conspires to take down other scientists from major universities, scientists that Fauci claims are “fringe.” Moreover, Fauci didn't want to take them down via scientific arguments or publishing papers in journals, he instead did so through the press and the use of popular opinion.
The senator pointed out that this is the opposite of science.
“It is cheap politics & it is reprehensible,” said Paul.
This is an issue that has needed to be addressed for some time, and in a way, it's the backbone of the entire problem with Fauci.
The idea that one man should have a say over what is and isn't science is not just incredibly unscientific, it leads to a sort of fiat rule that allows mistakes and corruption to replace exploration and discovery. To be sure, it's pretty clear that the data on everything from the vaccines to the virus itself has been skewed, leaving many questions hanging in the air that have obvious answers not being made official.
This “I am the science” approach by Fauci has also led to an obsession with “misinformation,” which everyone from politicians to social media networks has used as an excuse to ruin or silence people.
(READ: Twitter's New Ban-Happy CEO Is Pushing It, and He May Get the Company in Trouble)
The truth is that Fauci is not “the science” and any scientist worth his salt would never claim such a thing. Fauci is a bureaucrat with a medical degree, and moreover, data has suggested his involvement with the creation of the COVID-19 virus is a bit more direct.
While not directly related to legislation or official dealings, this is one of the most important things Paul could have addressed with Fauci. There is no ultimate authority on science, and Fauci pretending he is, makes him less of a scientist.