Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical advisor, denied responsibility for school closings during the pandemic. He said in an interview that he had “nothing” to do with it.
ABC News Jonathan Karl asked Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and was also the chief spokesman for the government during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that it was “a mistake” to close schools for so long.
Fauci responded, “I don’t want to use Jon the word ‘mistake,’ because if it does, it gets removed from the context that I’m asking you the question on.” “And that’s because it’s been too many times with me over the years.”
Fauci was asked if the country had paid too much for the government’s pandemic response. He replied, “We need to realize, and have already realized, that you will suffer deleterious collateral consequences if you do something like this.”
Fauci pointed out that the coronavirus killed nearly 1,500 children and suggested that officials must balance safety with maintaining schools open.
Fauci stated that “you shouldn’t discount the fact it affects children, so it’s not without consequence.” If you look back and ask anyone to count the times I have said that we need to keep schools open, they will all answer the same. No one does that. They all come back to me and say that Fauci was responsible for closing down schools. It was not my fault. Let’s just get to the facts.
Karl suggested that “You are not the head of a school board.”
Fauci replied, “Exactly.”
“Was it a mistake…to see schools closed as long as they were?”
FAUCI: “I had nothing to do with it!” pic.twitter.com/azgKnyd1VT
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 16, 2022
Parents are feeling resentful about the long-term school closures, as well as the learning loss and mental impact on their children. Many school districts refused to reopen in 2020 or 2021, citing guidance provided by Fauci and other public health officials. This caused political divisions and sometimes led to heated showdowns between parents, school boards, and even the school board.
Fox News reported that a study by the Department of Education found that 9-year-olds’ reading scores fell seven points between 2022 and 2020. This was the biggest drop in reading scores in more than three decades. The study also found the first-ever recorded decrease in math scores.
Although Fauci did not have the authority to close schools directly, his words had an influence on policymakers and his recommendations were followed.
Fauci is reported to have “given his blessing” in April 2020 to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to shut down schools across the city. Fauci also criticized Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis (R), who attempted to open schools, warned that it would increase the number of infections.
Fauci scolded @GovRonDeSantis for opening schools in fall20. And his constant caveats – schools can only open IF – gave unions & districts cover NOT to open. His refusal to acknowledge the harm to kids earlier this month, & now, his refusal to accept accountability is pathetic. https://t.co/r4T3ecUg4j pic.twitter.com/ZM83lAyLQ8
— Jennifer Sey (@JenniferSey) October 17, 2022
Fauci advised that schools in high-viral transmission areas should be closed, and children should learn online.
8/4/20 Fauci on schools:
“There may be some areas where the level of virus is so high that it would not be prudent to bring children back to school.”
In clip, he endorses Zoom education & school closures in areas w/ COVID transmission. Fauci has never been for full reopening. pic.twitter.com/eORstr2Lf8
— Jordan Schachtel @ dossier.substack.com (@JordanSchachtel) November 30, 2020
Fauci was not being truthful in his policy recommendations during Sunday’s interview. Fauci stated, “I didn’t shut down anything” in an August interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto to answer a question regarding COVID-19 lockdowns.
Unbelievable! Does Fauci NOT know that the Internet lives forever? HERE are the receipts:
Fauci: “I didn’t shut anything down…”
Oh really? Roll tape! pic.twitter.com/73L2pDpABS
— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) August 23, 2022
In another interview, he also deflected responsibility for public-health guidance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FAUCI YESTERDAY: “I didn’t recommend locking anything down.”
FAUCI IN OCTOBER 2020: “I recommended to the president that we shut the country down.” pic.twitter.com/lvw59IBndA
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 26, 2022
Fauci stated that he had recommended to Donald Trump, in October 2020, that he “shut down the country” as a response to the pandemic.