Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health listens to a question during an AP Newsmaker interview in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Fauci says the National Institutes of Health is in a “scramble” to prepare for a potential government shutdown at midnight Friday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
There are two competing worldviews that are on a collision course during this social and medical explosion known as Coronavirus. Or SARS-COVID19. Or Wuhan Coronavirus. Or the ChiCom Virus: Even what we choose to call it demarcates the philosophical battle lines.
On one side is the free market, and those that exists within its parameters. On the other side are the transnational elites, the global bureaucrats, and those that sympathize with them– think educators, university employees, public sector union members, and their political allies.
And ne’re the twain shall meet, evidently.
One of the most distressing things, however, is how much the script has flipped from the AIDS battles of the 1980’s: Even the players are the same, but their tunes are different, now that their favorite (and disfavored) interest-groups are –in large measure– voiceless.
Even by the mid-1980s, gay men had become a powerful political interest group. They’d managed to get the American Psychological Association to de-list homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1975; they’d set up alternative medical clinics throughout urban America where ferocious skepticism of the medical establishment (and their stodgy rules about sexually transmitted diseases, availability of prophylactics and the shuttering of bath houses) informed much of their debate with clinicians rushing to find a “cure” for AIDS.
They never found a “cure”. Eventually, they found treatments, and made tremendous strides in curatives in other tributaries to the research river. But, the battles about finding a “cure” versus finding effective treatments were as fierce then as they are today regarding the stanching of the Wuhan Terror. Gay men were dying by the tens of thousands, and the government (then headed by the Evil Ronald Reagan) was accused of all manner of hideous device to withhold promising drugs because he wanted Gay Men to Die.
At the time, a smallish bespectacled little man was in charge of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the lead National Institute of Health agency then working on AIDS research and public policy.
At first, the little scientist was enthralled with moth-eaten procedures regarding double-blind peer-reviewed, years-long clinical trials. That all changed when Dr. Anthony Fauci met with New York-based AIDS activists at ACT UP (that is, the AIDS Coalition for Unleash Power), and he became a true believer in the “parallel track” approach:
Which is: We can walk and chew gum at the same time, especially when people are dying, and there are promising treatments that can be administered– such as Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin in the fight against SARS-COVID19. Or Wuhan Flu.
According to “Unproven AIDS Therapies: The Food and Drug Administration and ddl” by Jeffry Levi, at the National Academy of Sciences in 1991–
…Fauci believed the success of those (clinical, double blind) trials was paramount as well as the most compassionate route in the long term, and would ultimately help more people than would be helped through early access
Through his conversations with the activists, however, Fauci became convinced that expanded access would not have to compromise the integrity of the trials if the parallel track was limited to those who could not otherwise participate in a clinical trial. There was also at the time, growing concern within the NIH funded AIDS clinical trials program that patients were not complying with the trial protocols…
“My commitment to carefully designed, controlled clinical trials for AIDS has not changed,” said Fauci, “such trials are absolutely essential if we are going to get the answers needed by physicians who are treating patients.” But, he declared, “at the same time, we have to be creative and flexible so we can provide increased access to promising drugs to patients who cannot participate in clinical trials.”
Once Fauci broke the ice, there was almost a bandwagon effect on the rest of the PHS leadership…
…Fauci presented his endorsement of the (parallel track) concept in principle without detailing how the program would actually work.
Anyone (and I mean ANYONE) who doesn’t see this current global struggle in worldview terms is either willfully ignorant or dangerously uninformed. The Dr. Fauci of 1989 is the same Dr. Fauci of today: The only thing different is that those he seeks to treat today are not those of protected political class. They are simply part of a great unwashed proletariat– not the noble Gay Man and his struggles against the Christian Theocracy and Pope Reagan.
Fauci was then –as he is today– a part of the Smart Set. The smart set has always gotten a kick out of Gay Chic, and likes to envision itself at the vanguard of social progress. What better illustration than to discard the Conventions of Old if it means we can look Progressive at cocktail parties and tell the participants therein that they are now fast-tracking the latest AIDS drugs, reviewed peers be damned.
Hydroxychloroquine? Eh, who cares. It’s being “touted” by The Orange Man, and we all know he and his supporters are a bunch of rubes.
And rubes don’t have an Interest Group. At least not 0ne that hangs out with Maureen Dowd and Truman Capote and… Anthony Fauci.