There probably aren’t many Americans on the center-right who still think much of Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the latest news won’t help: While most other Americans sorely struggled to make ends meet during the pandemic, Fauci and his wife increased their net worth by more than $5 million.
Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is the highest paid federal bureaucrat, “earning” $456,028 in 2021. His wife, Christine Grady, is the National Institutes of Health’s chief bioethicist and was paid $238,970 in 2021. Fauci announced last month that his 55-year government career will come to a close in December with an outrageously lucrative annual pension of at least $350,000. Median U.S. household income in 2020 was $67,521, roughly one-fifth of Fauci’s pension and about one-tenth of Fauci’s current household income from wages alone.
Between February and April 2020, stock markets crashed, an immense hit for American families saving to fund their own retirement. Much of those earnings recovered in the ensuing months, but then Joe Biden became president, and the stock market is back down 20% (an official bear market) in 2022.
Anthony Fauci? He’s doing just fine, thank you very much. The watchdog group OpenTheBooks revealed that Fauci and his wife’s net worth grew from $7.5 million in 2019 to $12.6 million at the end of 2021. We don’t know where that balance sheet stands today, but he made an awful lot of money on investments, awards, compensation, and royalties during the pandemic.
Now, we’re not suddenly becoming envy-based Bernie Sanders acolytes for pointing that out. We have little problem with people earning whatever their potential will yield in a free market. We do have an enormous problem with “public servants” cashing in at the expense of taxpayers — especially when, as in Fauci’s case, they play such a big role in the economic devastation the rest of us have endured over the last two and a half years.
Fauci pushed for shutdowns early and often, and he’s spent most of the last two years on cable television browbeating us for not wearing enough masks, for not getting enough booster shots, and for being out doing much of anything at all.
Did any of the economic damage cause him any retrospection? Did the fact that children’s education has been woefully and perhaps permanently disrupted give him a moment’s pause?
“Sometimes when you do draconian things, it has collateral negative consequences, just like when you shut things down, even temporarily, it does have deleterious consequences on the economy, on the schoolchildren. You know that,” he said earlier this month. “But you have to make a balance when you’re dealing with — we know the only way to stop something cold in its track is to try and shut things down.”
Back in July, he almost hinted at rethinking things. “If I knew in 2020 what I know now, we would do a lot differently because back then we were not sure of a number of things,” he opined. But then he stubbornly plowed ahead, “Had we known that then the insidious nature of spread in the community would have been much more of an alarm and there would have been much, much more stringent restrictions in the sense of very, very heavy [sic] encouraging people to wear masks, physical distancing, or what have you.”
In other words, he would have come down even harder on us — while cashing in himself.
Did we mention that Fauci’s funding of gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China, likely contributed to the existence of the pandemic in the first place? Congressional Republicans are anxious to ask Dr. Fauci more questions about what a model of public service he has been.