This week Dr. Anthony Fauci condemned those who don’t accept his “truth”
Andrea Mitchell, an MSNBC host, asked Fauci Tuesday if society is becoming “antiscience,” citing the rise of misinformation and disinformation.
Fauci responded by denouncing the “normalization and untruths”, which he meant ideas he doesn’t believe are true.
Mitchell was told by Fauci that “the answer is yes”.
“But the other is that there’s so much misinformation, that we are experiencing normalization of untruths,” he said. “Where there is so much disinformation that is spread predominately via social media that people just become so used to the falsehoods that they become normalized.”
Fauci says that normalizing “untruths is really bad because it produces fruit in apathy.”
“You don’t push back against it,” he explained. “You say, ‘Well, that’s just the way it is.’ That would be a terrible blow to society and, I believe, to our democracy if all of a sudden people say, ‘Well, what’s the use? There’s so much untruth out there we might as well not even push back on it. It’s hopeless.’
“We’ve got to not accept the normalization of untruths,” he declared.
Fauci’s comments have obvious problems. Fauci complained about the proliferation of “untruths,” but it is up to us to determine the truth. Fauci? Science (whatever it means)? The government?
Fauci’s rhetorical tricks of the hand are evident when he frames his criticism within the contexts of “anti-science”, “misinformation” and “disinformation”. He means “untruths” any perspective that is contrary to his definition of truth or the one as defined by those in power, in this instance the elite institutions and federal government.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the truth was known to be flexible.
When the COVID-19 vaccine first came out, officials said it would end the pandemic. It didn’t. What about masks? Officials initially said that they were not necessary, but mandates made it mandatory for most Americans to wear them during the worst of the pandemic.
Fauci is right to be concerned about the dangers of spreading false information. However, the government and those in power aren’t the final arbiters of truth.