VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - Lapsed Catholic and discredited scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci used his opening interview at the Vatican health summit Thursday to combat vaccine aversion, reinforce mask-wearing and defend his much-criticized flip-flopping on a host of COVID-19 measures.
The chief medical adviser to the U.S. president told CNN's medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta that matching "the messenger with the audience" and connecting refuseniks with "people they trust" was "going to overcome a lot of the [vaccine] hesitancy."
"When you go into the trenches and you have someone who's a deeply religious person who will listen to their clergy, that's different than me with a suit, going into an area, telling people to do something," emphasized Fauci, an alumnus of Jesuit-run Regis High School.
Fauci, who is the highest-paid federal servant in the United States — earning more than the president — distanced himself from his Catholic roots by re-defining "faith" as "not necessarily religious faith," but "a combination of instinct, good judgment and calling back from experience."
The immunologist, nevertheless, used his definition of "faith" to offer an apologia for his habitual somersaulting on a wide range of Wuhan virus restrictions — arguing he had to "almost completely" rely on "faith" when "starting with nothing" in the COVID crisis.
People don't appreciate how knowledge evolves during a virus outbreak and how "you're going to change some of your viewpoints," because even though "the data itself will not necessarily change, additional data changes the status of your knowledge," Fauci argued.
"Your knowledge may go from minimal and you're acting on 'faith,' as it were, versus the true substantive evidence in data, which really gives you a much greater foundation," he added, "because you're dealing with a virus in this case, a novel coronavirus."
The flip-flopper stressed the need to "be flexible, open-minded and humble to know that even though you have 40 years of experience, when you're dealing with something that is really in the realm of the unknown, you've got to expect the unexpected."
Labeling the spread of the COVID-19 virus in India as a "cautionary tale," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases blamed "the ceremonial feasts at the Ganges river" for the resurgence of the outbreak.
Despite Pope Francis' repeated pleas to make the jabs available to poorer nations in the "spirit of global responsibility," Fauci said Monday he would oppose moves to force vaccine giants to abandon intellectual property rights so poorer countries could benefit.
Instead, Big Pharma should be encouraged to increase production in the West and export doses to developing nations, Fauci insisted. India's laws allow it to temporarily override patent rights for medical products in the case of emergencies.
The scientist, who has been ridiculed the most for his flip-flopping on the efficacy of masks, reiterated that the "completely unprecedented" phenomenon of asymptomatic coronavirus infections "impacts the profound need to wear masks."
"When you say, 'Well, I don't worry. If I don't feel sick, why should I wear a mask?' Now we know that you could be spreading the virus," since we are "dealing with a virus where one-third to 40% of the people never get any symptoms," he explained.
Notably, "50 to 60% of the people who will get infected, get infected from someone with no symptoms," Fauci maintained, ignoring more recent studies damning face masks as not just ineffective against COVID-19, but as dirty, dangerous and dehumanizing.
Despite the widespread confusion of correlation with causation in calculating COVID fatalities and the many peer-reviewed studies exposing manipulated statistics, the lockdown zealot insisted that the China virus had killed 570,000 people in the U.S.
The gloom-and-doom doctor also emphasized the ability of the virus ("a wily opponent") to "develop new variants," remarking, "And every single week that goes by, we get hit with another challenge" — first the Wuhan strain, followed by the South African, Kent and Indian variants.
CNN's Sanjay Gupta — a Hindu medical doctor earlier accused of using his medical degree "to provide the veneer of credibility to unseemly corporate marketing campaigns" by promoting Merck's Gardasil vaccine — endorsed Fauci's credibility during the prerecorded conversation.
Fauci's "steadfast approach full of evidence and facts has provided a sense of reassurance," Gupta told the Vatican health forum, even though Fauci's "facts" have been contested by researchers and peer-reviewed studies.
"Researchers are divided about whether asymptomatic infections are acting as a 'silent driver' of the pandemic," the prestigious journal Nature reported.
"The issue with putting a reliable figure on the rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 is distinguishing between people who are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic, notes Medical University of South Carolina infectious-disease researcher Krutika Kuppalli.
Faucian Bargain: The Most Powerful and Dangerous Bureaucrat in American History, published in 2021 by Steve Deace and Todd Erzen, documents Fauci's biggest backtracks amid the COVID crisis, including his U-turns on masks, lockdowns, school shutdowns, singing in church, Trump's travel ban from China and the lethality of COVID-19.
"Making matters worse is Fauci's willingness/desire to say literally whatever fueled the narrative he preferred at the time," the authors write, contrasting Fauci's doomsday prophecies with the counter-narrative of top global experts in infectious diseases.
"One would be hard-pressed to think of anyone in government who's done more lasting damage to the country than Dr. Anthony Fauci," observes Julie Kelly, senior contributor to American Greatness. "Emboldened by a media in full swoon and his own ego, Fauci inflicted untold pain and devastation across the country without a hint of remorse."
Church Militant earlier reported that the Vatican's global health summit ending Saturday will host a lineup of highly controversial speakers who promote abortion, pansexuality, Hindu Vedic meditation, New Age spirituality, alternative medicine and yoga, alongside credible medical experts.
Titled "Exploring the Mind, Body and Soul: Unite to Prevent and Unite to Cure," the summit is being sponsored, among other controversial bodies, by the Mormon cult and Moderna vaccine-maker and has received $750,000 from the John Templeton Foundation, which is committed to promoting contraception in partnership with faith-based organizations in the world's poorest countries.