MSNBC Analyst's Defense of Fauci Should Hang in the Louvre of Bad Takes

Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the garden gnome that just won’t go away. After making news over the weekend with yet another softball interview (in which he brought up January 6th and insisted he is “science“), the good doctor held a press conference yesterday in which he couldn’t explain his new travel ban policies and claimed that not testing illegal immigrants is “different” than forcing such a regime on US citizens. So yeah, it’s like every other time.

Of course, the response to Fauci’s insanity drew a renewed defense of the government’s highest-paid official because it can’t just be that he’s terrible at his job. One such defense came from MSNBC’s John Heilemann, and it’s so bad that it should hang in the Louvre of bad takes.

What makes this supposed “analysis” of Republican motivations so egregious isn’t that it’s just wrong. Liberals on cable news are often wrong. But in this case, Heilemann manages to state the exact opposite reason Fauci is being criticized as the reason he’s being criticized. That takes true skill and a unique lack of shame. So since Heilemann is obviously confused, let me help him out.

Fauci himself has set a standard by which the pandemic never ends by repeatedly insisting that less than 10,000 cases a day represents having things under control. By contrast, another airborne virus in the flu represents about 35,000,000 cases a year. So Fauci’s baseline regarding COVID, a more transmissible airborne virus, is only 3,600,000 cases a year. Yeah, that equals a forever pandemic.

Further, Fauci personally benefits from continuing to be in the spotlight provided by COVID hysteria. And to be sure, he absolutely loves that spotlight. From magazine covers to countless interviews to cringy Netflix documentaries, no one is enjoying the coronavirus more than Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Now, let’s talk about Republicans because on no planet do they want the pandemic to continue. In fact, it works against Republicans if that happens. Why? Because Democrats benefit from pandemic-era “emergency” voting provisions such as mass mail-in voting and ballot harvesting. Republicans also benefit in 2022 at the state level by having good economies and forgoing ineffective, draconian COVID measures.

Lastly, Heilemann’s statement makes no sense in regards to practicalities either. If “listening” to Fauci meant a reduction in COVID cases, then all the states that have listened to him would be…seeing a reduction in COVID cases instead of another seasonal spike. Instead, states like Michigan, New York, and Vermont have all seen dramatic rises in cases over the last few months.

In short, Heilemann manages to hit the rare grand slam of political disinformation. Most lies tend to have a bit of truth mixed in to make them believable. But Heilemann doesn’t even bother, managing to not have a single aspect of what he said prove accurate.