A Twitter thread published Wednesday aimed to put a spotlight on "the various flip-flops" of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"We’ve all seen the various flip-flops of the CDC and Dr. Anthony Fauci over the last 18 months," freelance writer Drew Holden wrote.
Holden has developed a following on social media for lengthy Twitter threads showcasing bias and contradictions, and the U.S. government's polarizing top epidemiologist is his latest target.
"To help keep track, I present ‘Fauci vs. Fauci,’ chronicling the twists, turns, contradictions and backtracks from the man and his agency," Holden added before presenting followers with his receipts.
"To start, we need to focus on Dr. Fauci’s perspective on the virus itself and it’s risk to the United States. In late January 2020, Fauci said that COVID was a ‘very, very low risk to the United States,’" Holden wrote. "I think it goes without saying that his perspective has evolved since."
"One big, obvious area of flipping is around the benefits of wearing a mask. Dr. Fauci originally said that masks weren’t effective & publicly encouraged Americans not to buy them (guidance he doesn’t regret). Now even vaccinated people need to wear masks," Holden wrote to accompany images of various headlines showing changing positions on masks.
Holden also pointed out that Fauci recently "declared confidently that the CDC wasn’t going to change its recommendation about masking given the Delta variant." He added the image of a headline indicating that Fauci has since changed his position and recently said new mask mandates are under consideration.
The next tweet indicated that the numbers of masks recommended has also changed periodically throughout the pandemic.
"Dr. Fauci was a leading voice suggesting for months that the pandemic couldn’t possibly have leaked from a lab in Wuhan (one that received US tax dollars, by the way)," Holden wrote next.
"That was until the consensus changed. And then, suddenly, the theory couldn’t be dismissed," he continued. "Complete 180."
Holden shared headlines to prove the CDC has reversed its stance on COVID testing, too.
"And you may have forgotten, but the CDC had a brouhaha also in September when new guidance about airborne transmission - including beyond 6 feet - went live on the agency’s website," Holden wrote. "It was quickly scrubbed after a brief medical & news firestorm. Not exactly confidence-inspiring."
"Schools have seen lots of reversals. In February, the CDC Director said schools could reopen safely w/o teachers vaccinated," he continued. "Well, a few calls from the teachers union later, the CDC reversed course. Weeks later, new guidance (sensing a theme?) was released focusing on teachers."
"The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything any of us have seen before. There should be some charity and humility about bad predictions," Holden wrote. "But the idea that Dr. Fauci and the CDC haven’t flip-flopped? That’s just preposterous."
"Is it any wonder Americans don’t trust public health experts after this? Does it surprise anyone that Dr. Fauci and the CDC aren’t seen as reputable now? These failures have consequences, and you can measure them in lives," Holden wrote before concluding his thread by encouraging followers to donate to a Washington, D.C. food bank.
CNN contributor Mary Katharine Ham criticized media "fangirling" for Fauci last week, saying he shouldn't be beyond reproach.
"[Fauci] gets, frankly, a lot of fangirling and a lot of forum for his ideas and he doesn’t get a lot of pushback," Ham said.