Dr. Anthony Fauci.

EDITORIAL: A Stark Study in Contrast

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently spent a pleasant few days in Ireland.

The former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was in Dublin where he was awarded the Stearne Medal by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland for his “outstanding contribution to public health."

As the Irish Times reported, Dr. Fauci’s guidance informed the decisions of seven U.S. presidents during his career. He carried out pioneering work on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The president of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dr. Diarmuid O’Shea, together with Tánaiste Micheál Martin, duly presented the Stearne Medal to Dr. Fauci. It is the college's highest honor and is named after the founding president of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, John Stearne.

Fauci was visiting Ireland for the first time, though it turns out that his wife, Dr. Christine Grady, has family roots in Clare and Sligo.

“Dr Fauci, who became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in a virtual ceremony in 2021 during the pandemic, is a role model for physicians worldwide,” said Dr. O’Shea.

“His work is contained in the textbooks that millions of medical students’ study and he is one of the most cited scientific researchers in the world.

“His tireless efforts in advancing the frontiers of medical science have saved millions of lives and his courage, leadership and passionate advocacy for science will continue to inspire generations of healthcare professionals.

“In an era marked by rampant misinformation and scepticism, his steadfast advocacy for evidence-based practices has been instrumental in shaping public health policies and safeguarding lives.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said: “It is my honour to mark Dr Fauci’s contribution to public health here at one of Ireland’s foremost scientific institutions.

“The Covid-19 pandemic underscored the critical role that scientific research and collaboration play in safeguarding public health and ensuring the resilience of our societies.”

That was Ireland. So back to the United States.

This from The Hill, the newspaper that reports on all the doings of Congress.

"Former White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said the 'levels of vitriol' in the county and in Congress, particularly Tuesday’s incident with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), is 'really quite unfortunate.'

Fauci was being interviewed by CNN and was referring to his testimony before the House Oversight and Accountability Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Fauci, stated the report by The Hill, was the face of the administration’s COVID-19 response while leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Said Fauci in the interview: “I have testified literally hundreds of times over the last 40 years over Congress and there’s always been differences of opinion, differences of ideology, criticisms and things like that.

“But the level of vitriol that we see now, just in the country in general, but actually played out during this hearing, was really quite unfortunate because the purpose of hearings [is] to try and figure out how we can do better so that next time, if and when we are faced with a pandemic, we’d be better prepared and we could benefit.

“That’s not what we saw today, as shown by the clip you showed with Marjorie Taylor Greene. I mean, that was nothing about trying to do better, unfortunately.”

As The Hill report pointed out, during the hearing, Greene refused to recognize Fauci as a doctor, referring to him instead as “Mr. Fauci.” She questioned Fauci on why the American people “deserve to be abused” by him and said, “You’re not ‘Dr.,” you’re ‘Mr. Fauci’ in my few minutes.”

Fauci told the committee and CNN that he and his family still receive death threats for his role in trying to act during the pandemic. He said there’s a pattern with the threats that alleges he is responsible for widespread death from COVID.

“So, that’s the reason why I’m still getting death threats, when you have performances like that unusual performance by Marjorie Taylor Greene...Those are the kinds of things that drive up the death threats because there are a segment of the population out there that believe that kind of nonsense.”

In Ireland a medal. In his homeland death threats. A stark study in contrast indeed.

The amusing thing here, if amusement is possible, is that Marjorie Taylor Greene was in fact honoring Dr. Fauci by calling him "Mister." In Ireland a physician who has reached the high level of consultant is, by tradition, addressed as Mister as opposed to Doctor.

But we wouldn't expect Taylor Greene to know that.

It wouldn't be surprising if Dr. Fauci and his wife make a return visit to Ireland, if for no other reason than to escape the infantile rubbish swirling around Capitol Hill.