Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Scientist as Bureaucrat

Michael Specter on Dr. Anthony Fauci:
Fauci once explained to me that he has developed a method for dealing with political leaders in times of crisis: "I go to my favorite book of philosophy, The Godfather, and say 'It's nothing personal, it's strictly business.' . . . You just have a job to do. Even when somebody's acting ridiculous, you can't chide them for it. You've got to deal with them. Because if you don't deal with them, then you're out of the picture." 
Since his days of advising Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Fauci has maintained a simple credo: "You stay completely apolitical and non-ideological, and you stick to what it is that you do. I'm a scientist and I'm a physician. And that's it." He learned the value of candor early. "Some wise person who used to be in the White House, in the Nixon administration, told me a very interesting dictum to live by, " he told me in 2016. "He said, 'When you go to the White House you should be prepared that that is the last time you will ever go.' . . . Everybody knows I'm going to tell them exactly what's the truth."
No wonder Fauci seems unfazed by trying to advise Trump about Covid-19, I mean, that can't be any worse than trying to advise Ronald Reagan about AIDS.

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