On Tuesday, Jan. 11, there were three examples of a public officials being unfairly reamed or slighted by another official. The highly bizarre attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci by Sen. Rand Paul showed a complete lack of civility, and rational thinking. In some ways, it was understandable, because through the years, we have seen a continuous flow of bizarre and far-fetched behavior from the junior senator from Kentucky. All the same, it was completely unwarranted, especially since Paul’s diatribes have contributed to vicious threats of violence directed at Dr. Fauci and his family.
Groups such as Black Voters Matter boycotted President Joe Biden’s major speech on civil rights in Atlanta. Perhaps the most prominent individual who would have been expected to attend but didn’t was Stacy Abrams. She is founder of Fair Fight Action and the likely Democratic nominee for Georgia governor this coming November as she was in 2018. She, and others, thought that the Biden speech was too little too late. They may have been on target about too late, but in retrospect, it is difficult to call the powerful speech too little.
The third case involves government response to COVID, but nothing involving vitriolic senators like Rand Paul or Roger Marshall from Kansas.
Dr. Fauci and Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Rochelle Walensky were grilled about the often confusing and even contradictory recommendations that government officials have given re. COVID. Policies on masks, vaccinations, testing and more continue to change frequently and sometimes unexpectedly.
There is no question that mistakes have been made. But consider the complexity of the problems. Fighting COVID is somewhat like whack-a-mole; when you find solutions to one kind of problem, or variant, then another one pops up.
What to recommend in the way of vaccinations (other than get them as quickly as you can), is difficult because they involve new science with limited time for testing. What masks to recommend depends on the supplies available, and helping consumers determine which are effective and which are knock-offs. The idea of providing adequate testing for 330 million Americans is overwhelming, considering the scope of the numbers involved. Manufacturing techniques are new and distribution logistics are complicated.
If Drs. Fauci and Walensky were like Donald Trump’s fraudulent advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas, then criticism would be warranted because he was neither serious nor compassionately concerned. Yes, Drs. Fauci and Walensky have made mistakes, but who wouldn’t? So long as they are making good faith efforts with intelligence and concern, they should be given a great deal of slack.
Similarly, Stacy Abrams and others may have been right that President Biden waited to long to give his voting rights speech. But he had good reasons. As someone who served in the U.S. Senate for thirty-six years, he knew how to quietly negotiate. Unfortunately, Sen. Joe Manchin could not be persuaded (hopefully that will change now following the Biden speech and the follow-up).
As we have said before, it is much more difficult for progressives to advance their agendas than it is for conservatives. This is because progressives actually want to do something; not block progress. The Biden Administration is staffed with many outstanding individuals and is working hard to address America’s and the world’s greatest problems. Let’s give them a break!