By Jeffrey A. Tucker
Let’s imagine that one day, liberty, prosperity, security, and rationality were all shredded. Most of the country could not go to church, send their kids to school, get a drink at a bar, go to the gym, or even hold a dinner party. Hospitals intubated patients and 88 percent died. This persisted for months, even a year in some places, after which the government came along with a shot many were forced to get else lose a job, and this shot was not needed by most and had sketchy efficacy and safety data.
One might suppose that if such a thing should happen, the perpetrators of such an outrage would be found and justice would be meted out.
Of course all the above did in fact happen in this land of the free. But here is where it gets strange: no one seems responsible for it all. Another way to say this: no one is willing to take responsibility for what happened.
Anthony Fauci, more than anyone else, appears to be the main architect of American lockdowns and vaccine mandates. He was doing several media appearances a day for the better part of two years, adored by the media and parading around like a master of the universe. He claimed that attacks on him were nothing but attacks on science.
One might suppose that he, more than anyone, would bear responsibility for failure. According to him, the opposite is true. He never gave any orders to anyone, he says. Clearly, he has been planning his escape for years.
Once his emails started coming out thanks to FOIA requests, I noticed that he had a special talent for avoiding responsibility. He is a master bureaucrat. Even though he was running everything, he was always careful never to give direct orders in email or make strong judgements. His emails were carefully worded to avoid that. He would always answer in vague terms, never decisively and never with revealing text.
Even when he and his cohorts ordered a direct hit on the Great Barrington Declaration, he tried to keep his fingerprints off of it. It was Francis Collins of the NIH who called for a “quick and devastating takedown” of the document, whereas Fauci merely sent back links. He did not add any strong words of encouragement. And when confronted about this by Rand Paul, he pointed that out.
This is how a master bureaucrat works. They gain ever more power but they also get ever better at not leaving a paper trail, always setting others up for failure while the master bureaucrat himself avoids having the blame for failure pinned on him.
Such people are everywhere in the workforce, not just the government. You have probably experienced them before in your workplace. They are unusually maddening figures, typically lacking in much skill at all besides the skill of surviving and thriving in a bureaucratic thicket of their own making. Lacking actual skill, they surround themselves with people who can do their work, leaving them all the time in the world for plotting, scheming, and taking credit for all successes. They are equally flattered by everyone around them and secretly despised by these same people.
They have no loyalty to others but demand 100 percent loyalty to themselves. They are always ready to conspire against colleagues and hurl them out if there is a perception of any threat to themselves. They are constantly creating alibis to mask their own incompetence. People fear them so much that they can get away with this caper for years. Eventually of course such people wreck whole institutions.
Senator Rand Paul knows exactly what is going on with Fauci and works to expose him in whatever way he can, given the very limited time he has when Fauci testifies before the Senate. Yesterday, the subject concerned Fauci’s very obvious and completely untenable neglect of natural immunity in the case of COVID.
Rand’s point is very obviously beyond dispute. It’s one of the biggest scandals of the whole pandemic era. NIH and the CDC in their studies and guidelines buried this point of science as deeply as possible. Why? Because doing so helped whip up disease panic, underscore the thinking behind masks and force human separation, and prepared the way for vaccine mandates. It got so bad that even the World Health Organization removed natural immunity from its website.
In the end, of course, it was natural immunity—exposure then recovery—that got us out of the pandemic. No one really disputes that, especially given that the vaccine predictably protects against neither infection nor transmission. Even when Fauci was asked point blank about the subject during the pandemic, he would quickly demur and say that they are studying the problem.
That Fauci buried this known point of science is truly beyond dispute. Of course with Fauci, ever clever, he cannot be trapped. Rand began his brief interrogation by showing a video of Fauci from 2004 in which Fauci says that the best vaccine is infection and recovery. Fauci immediately picks up a sheet of paper from Reuters claiming that the video is taken out of context.
Then Rand moved on to discuss vaccine trials, guidelines, and mandates and how they too completely neglected natural immunity. “Almost none of your studies, from the CDC or from the government,” said Rand, “include the variable of whether or not you have been previously infected.” He demanded to know why Fauci has so completely neglected the topic.
Fauci says in response. “You keep saying you approve, you do this, you do that. The committees that give approval are FDA, through their advisory committee. The committees that recommend are CDC through their advisory committee …. They are not my committees …. I don’t have any idea what goes on.”
Here is the full exchange.
Wow. Listening to Fauci on this occasion, you would think he bears no more responsibility for the pandemic response or bad vaccine science than the server who brought my veal parmesan to the table last night. He is completely innocent of all things! He even posed as a victim here, shoving all responsibility for everything to some vague committees.
This is another master bureaucrat trick: surround yourself with committees that you can always blame for all failure. An investigator can take the next step and talk to all committee members one by one. In the event of success, every member will be glad to take all credit. In the event of a true failure, every single member will claim to have been skeptical all along but got overruled by other idiots on the committee. This is absolutely inevitable, and precisely why these committees exist in the first place: so that no one in particular is ever made responsible.
This strange pattern not only exists at the federal level. It exists in every state, every county, and every city. For that matter, it exists in every country. There is right now a vast and international scramble to avoid all responsibility. We end up with the spooky reality that the world was utterly wrecked by human hands and yet no one can figure out who or what is at fault. We think we know but pinning the disaster on anyone in power is like nailing jello to the wall.
And the problem is across the board. I touch a nerve by writing on the murderous use of ventilators early in the pandemic. Thousands died unnecessarily. But try to find the responsible party and you come up dry. Readers said that I was unfair to Jared Kushner and that might be correct, since he was just following the prescribed treatment at the time. But who prescribed this ghastly method of addressing a respiratory infection? No one seems to know.
Here is the essence of the problem of systemic human evil through history. We know what happened and we know how horrible it all was. But we are too often at a loss to assign agency in the actions themselves. For the bureaucrat, success means avoiding all responsibility. Anthony Fauci is the paradigmatic case of a person who has mastered the craft. His most perfected science is the science of survival.