“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles. It is true, that in the meantime, we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war, and long oppressions of enormous public debt.”
—Thomas Jefferson, 1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act
It’s easy to imagine Dr. Mengelfauci as the prototypical Pinocchio, his dimpled nose jutting out another inch every time he spouts a new lie, but really he’s more like Mangiafuoco, the waffling puppet-master of the Great Marionette Theatre in Carlo Collodi’s 1883 The Adventures of Pinocchio.1 Or maybe he’s both, as no doubt his strings are being pulled by shadow puppet-masters whose names we may never know.
Pinocchio is a pathological prevaricator who is not only implausibly dense but an incompetent liar to boot. His lies are so transparent and contradictory as to be laughable. On those counts, Dr. Mengelfauci is a match.
Where he doesn’t align with both the original Italian and Disney versions is in the marionette’s genuine remorse for his wicked deeds and his ardent desire to reform, ultimately leading to his redemptive transformation into a human being—a metamorphosis unlikely to befall today’s wooden fabulist.
Spin Doctor Fauci is still clinging to his pedestal, his nose growing longer by the microsecond as he slings more lies to camouflage the festering heap of fetid falsehoods in the corner.
A Cabinet of Confabulations
We all know the flippety-floppety fabrications. Below is just a sampling:2
- “The risk to the American public is low” (January 29, 2020) … 100,000–200,000 Americans could die from it (March 29, 2020) … make that 1.6–2.2 million (March 30, 2020).
- Travel restrictions are “irrelevant” in a pandemic (February 26, 2020) … “if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship” (March 9, 2020) … we should be really careful about lifting travel restrictions (March 31, 2020).
- “There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask” (February 17, 2020) … “it is very important for people to universally wear masks” (July 29, 2020) (oh, but wait, the first lie was okay because it was to protect the public health community (June 12, 2020)) … “it just makes common sense that [double-masking] likely would be more effective” (February 2, 2021).
- Herd immunity will kick in at 60–70 percent … no wait, 70–75 percent … no wait, 75–85 percent … no wait, 70–80+ percent … no wait, 90 percent (December 24, 2020) … oh, forget about herd immunity, will you (May 5, 2021) … just everybody get vaccinated, dammit (February 21, 2021).
- “The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund ‘gain of function research’ in the Wuhan Institute” (May 5, 2021) … “I can’t guarantee” that’s not happening (June 2, 2021).
- “[The scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated” (May 5, 2020) … “I am not convinced about [COVID-19 originating naturally]” (May 24, 2021).
- And the punchline: “I am consistent. I stick by what I say” (June 12, 2020).
Maskerading as Science
As if Dr. Mengelfauci didn’t already have enough of a god complex, he has now equated himself with Science—thus, questioning his perpetually fluctuating and highly suspect statements is equivalent to “science denial”:
“It’s very dangerous, Chuck, because a lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science.… If you are trying to get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you are attacking science.… Science and the truth are being attacked.” (@ 5:21)
Throughout the interview, Chuck Todd sets up the scripted card-stacking questions so Dr. Mengelfauci can deliver his prepared rejoinders, complete with a surfeit of trusty propaganda techniques, including transfer device, stereotyping, character assassination, and milieu control.
George Orwell sums up the art of deception succinctly, as ever:
“Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidarity to pure wind.”
Third Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels’s oft-cited formula bears repeating (no pun intended):
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic, and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”