Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the government’s coronavirus task force, recently admitted in an interview with the New York Times that he was not entirely truthful when he told the American people how many people would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. He didn’t think the public was ready to hear his true thoughts, which he feared might discourage people from getting vaccinated.
According to the Times’ article, Dr. Fauci had initially stated that only 60-70 percent of Americans would need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. About a month ago, he suggested that the figure was actually 70-75 percent instead. Last week, interview with CNBC, he again corrected himself and said that the figure was actually “75 to 80-plus percent.” In his recent interview with the Times, he again suggested that the figure was higher, and this time said that it might actually be “close to 90 percent.”
“Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goalposts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks,” reported the Times.
He basically admitted that he lied to the public and told them what he thought they needed to hear.
According to the Times, Dr. Fauci was ready to raise his estimates “weeks ago” but refused because “many Americans seemed hesitant about vaccines, which they would need to accept almost universally for the country to achieve herd immunity.”
He then went on, saying: “When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”
As if it wasn’t enough that he lied to the public, he explicitly stated that what he says in the future might still be based on what he thinks the public needs to hear, not what the science says. “We need to have some humility here. We really don’t know what the real number is. I think the real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent. But, I’m not going to say 90 percent.”
Why won’t he say 90 percent? According to the Times, the answer is that “Doing so might be discouraging to Americans, he said, because he is not sure there will be enough voluntary acceptance of vaccines to reach that goal,” because “sentiments about vaccines in polls have bounced up and down this year.”