sen. Ron Johnson claims that Dr. Fauci Covid-19 ‘overhyper’, ‘did the exact same thing with AIDS’ – Community News
Covid-19

sen. Ron Johnson claims that Dr. Fauci Covid-19 ‘overhyper’, ‘did the exact same thing with AIDS’

December 1, which happened to be World AIDS Day, may not have been the best day to claim AIDS was “overhyped”. Actually, there is no day. Nevertheless, in a December 1 episode of the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox Radio, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) suggested that Anthony Fauci, MD had “overhyped” AIDS and was doing something similar with Covid-19. Yes, that AIDS, the infectious disease that has killed an estimated 37.7 million people around the world. And that Covid-19, which has already killed more than 785,000 people in the US since the onset of the ongoing pandemic.

If your answer is “oh no he didn’t”, listen to the clip from the radio show accompanying this tweet:

Oh yes, he did. Johnson certainly used the word “overhyped.” This clip came right after Johnson suggested on the show that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may become less and less deadly over time, “because killing your host won’t help you replicate properly.” . Johnson went on to say, “That’s the general tendency of viruses. So why should we expect anything different with the coronavirus.” He added: “Except you want to create a state of fear to keep us in a state of fear to keep the controls. And you see that here in the United States.”

Let’s dwell on what Johnson said there. Of course, Johnson is right about one thing. Over time, the SARS-CoV-2 can evolve to be less harmful to humans. This will be especially likely as more and more people get vaccinated to prepare their immune systems to better fend off the virus. But what might happen in the future hasn’t quite happened yet. The versions of the virus that have spread throughout the US have continued to land people in the hospital. As of December 5, there were an average of 1,154 deaths per day in the US for the past seven days. And this number has been steadily increasing since the end of November. So if you want to wait for the virus to become less virulent, you will likely encounter a lot of people in the process.

OK, back to what Johnson said on the radio show. Johnson went on to name Fauci, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984. Why not since Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) have Fauci on their minds well, as I recently covered for Forbes. Johnson claimed: “By the way, Fauci did the exact same thing with AIDS. He overhyped it. He created all kinds of fear and said it could affect the entire population when it couldn’t.”

Wait a second. How’s that Sam Cooke song going: “Don’t know much about history, don’t know much biology, don’t know much about a science book?” It is important not to rewrite history. When Fauci first became director of the NIAID, many did not recognize, understand, or realize the threat that AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) would become. Although AIDS first appeared in the US in the 1980s, there was not much organized response to this emerging epidemic in the first half of the 1980s. In fact, the opposite may have happened. As Karen Tumulty has described for: The Atlantic Ocean, “The Reagan administration responded with massive cuts to public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the leading funder of biomedical research in the country, also struggled with funding constraints.”

It was not until September 1985 that then-US President Ronald Reagan even publicly uttered the name of the disease. In the words of Tumulty, “The Reagan administration’s reluctance to recognize and deal with the AIDS epidemic has gone down in history as one of the deepest and most lasting scars on its legacy.” So the problem in the mid-1980s was the opposite of the ‘overhyping’ of AIDS. Instead, it may have been “underhyped” or even “toned down”. Many politicians seemed to disregard the warnings from Fauci and other doctors and scientists to pay more attention to this newly discovered virus and emerging epidemic.

Hmm, scientists trying to convince politicians and the general public to take an infectious disease epidemic more seriously? Sounds familiar? Well, during his radio interview, Johnson went on to say the following about Fauci: “And… he uses the exact same playbook for Covid. Ignore therapy, push a vaccine. The solution to this, I’ve always felt, is early treatment and we still haven’t explored that thoroughly and it’s a travesty.”

OKAY. “Ignore therapy, push a vaccine” was not the script for the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. In the second half of the 1980s and 1990s, when more attention and money was paid to the fight against AIDS, scientists began to develop better therapies for AIDS. Therefore, AIDS has since become a much more treatable disease and is no longer the seemingly automatic death sentence it was during the 1980s and early 1990s. Funny how real discoveries and treatments come about after funding for real scientific research is increased, right?

So which therapies have been ignored during this Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic? Johnson wasn’t talking about ivermectin, was he? Gosh, when did Johnson champion the use of ivermectin against Covid-19, despite the lack of scientific evidence that ivermectin works against Covid-19? What about over and over? As I covered for ForbesIn June, Johnson’s YouTube account was suspended for violating the platform’s Covid-19 medical disinformation policy. His account had posted a video criticizing the US government for “not just ignoring but obstructing robust research” [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs that are reused for early treatment of Covid.” Recently, Johnson doubled down on his unsubstantiated claims that the federal government has somehow sabotaged the use of such drugs:

Again, where is the evidence that ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine or any other generic drug Johnson refers to would have made any difference in the number of people who died from Covid-19?

During CNN interview, Jake Tapper offered Fauci the chance to respond to what Johnson had said on the Brian Kilmeade Show:

As you can see, Fauci responded by saying, “How do you react to something so ridiculous? About the hype about AIDS? It killed over 750,000 Americans. 36 million people worldwide. How overhyped that?!”

Fauci added: “Overhyping Covid? It has already killed 780,000 Americans and more than five million people worldwide. So I have no idea what he’s talking about.”

With the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the US, concerns are that the colder, drier weather and vacation travel will lead to a winter wave of the Covid-19 coronavirus. It will be important for everyone to follow the Covid-19 precautions, such as wearing a face mask, social distancing and getting vaccinated. So this might be one of the worst times to suggest that Covid-19 is getting ‘overhyped’. In fact, one of the lingering problems during the pandemic is that politicians do not listen to real scientists and effectively downplay the dangers of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Ignoring a virus does not make it disappear and instead can spread further and faster and do more damage, as we have seen during this pandemic. And as we have seen during the early days of the AIDS epidemic.