Meet The Part-Time Assistant Professor Who Gets To Tell Fauci What To Do
"Can you ensure Dr. Fauci indicates masks are for the teachers in schools. Not for children," a top Health and Human Services official wrote in an internal email on Tuesday. "There is no data, none, zero, across the entire world, that shows children especially young children, spread this virus to other children, or to adults or to their teachers. None. And if it did occur, the risk is essentially zero," the official continued, explaining that it's fine because kids can transmit flu, but not coronavirus.
Yes, this Tuesday. And no, that's all bullshit.
Looooooong exhausted sigh. Okay, let's get into this crazy story from Politico.
From the jump, it's clear that putting Michael Caputo in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services' comms shop wasn't such a great idea after all. It's not exactly a shocker that a longtime Republican operative who literally did publicity work for Russian oil company Gazprom when he wasn't flacking for the GOP would police the agency's media releases for any actual science which might conflict with the rosy image of a country in recovery that might hurt the Dear Leader's re-election efforts.
But watching the results of that effort to ratfuck HHS's coronavirus response leak out in real time is pretty wild though, not gonna lie.
That quote above wasn't Caputo, it was Paul Alexander, the part-time, assistant professor of health research methods at a Canadian university that Caputo dug up in March when he went looking for someone, anyone, with an MD behind his name to push back on Fauci and his annoying proclamations based on "science" and "safety." Alexander is the one who got caught in June excoriating the CDC for "undermining the President" by issuing a report that discussed the dangers of COVID-19 for pregnant women because it "reads in a way to frighten women . . . as if the President and his administration can't fix this and it is getting worse."
According to the Washington Post, which broke the story in July, Alexander impugned not just the data behind the study, but the motives of the scientists releasing it.
And now Politico's Sarah Owermohle got her hands on a whole stack of Alexander's emails from as recently as this week instructing Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's premier infectious disease expert, how to answer media questions so as not to harsh the nation's mellow.
"I continue to have an issue with kids getting tested and repeatedly and even university students in a widespread manner…and I disagree with Dr. Fauci on this. Vehemently," Alexander wrote on August 27.
"Testing of asymptomatic people to seek asymptomatic cases is not the point of testing," he said on the same day. In fact ... it is very much the point of testing! Because if people know they are contagious they could stay home and stop the spread! This is a thing that doctors and scientists know.
The week before, he attacked the very concept of randomized controlled studies to assess the validity of coronavirus treatments, saying, "I think over time as I examine the good nonrandomized research, well conducted, strong methods, then I am saying that RCT evidence should not be considered the gold standard," adding later,"if the NIH's position is that RCT evidence is your standard, then this must change."
And if you guess that this guy is hot to trot on hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma therapy, you'd be exactly right.
So weird that half the country wants nothing to do with any vaccine coming out of the Trump administration!
Caputo, for his part, has been gunning for Fauci and the CDC for months.
"In many cases over the years, regardless of administration, the CDC has undermined presidents and themselves," he told the Post in July when the White House shitcanned the agency's recommendations for how and when to reopen schools safely. "Who says the CDC is the sole font of wisdom when it comes to detecting and fighting deadly pathogens?"
Because why would you take the word of the CDC when you've got a GOP hack and some assistant professor from Canada on hand to tell you what's really going on, right?
Reached for comment, Caputo defended Alexander as a valued expert, unafraid to buck the Deep State groupthink.
"Dr. Alexander advises me on pandemic policy and he has been encouraged to share his opinions with other scientists," he told Politico. "Like all scientists, his advice is heard and taken or rejected by his peers. I hired Dr. Alexander for his expertise and not to simply resonate others' opinions."
LOL, can't wait for the shitfit email about saboteurs divulging internal emails — emails which are themselves subject to FOIA requests, BTW — to leak by close of business. Gonna be a rager!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.