In his home office, Dr. Anthony Fauci sits facing a life-sized portrait of himself that falls short of his actual self-image. The Biden advisor, a government bureaucrat since 1968, now claims “I represent science,” therefore those who criticize him are criticizing science itself. That invites a look at Dr. Charles A. Thomas, the first biomedical scientist to challenge Fauci, and what that means for embattled Americans in 2022.
Charles Thomas, who preferred to be called “Charlie,” earned a chemistry degree from Princeton and a doctorate in physical chemistry from Harvard. Thomas taught physics at the University of Michigan then Johns Hopkins tapped him as professor of biophysics. Harvard then brought back Thomas as professor of biological chemistry, and after 11 years he became chairman of the cellular biology department at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.
Thomas and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that virus particles contained a single molecule of nucleic acid. His work showed that viral DNA molecules were terminally repetitious, beginning and ending with the same sequence of nucleotides. Thomas’ work also centered on the unusual structures formed by telomeric DNA sequences. The background of Dr. Anthony Fauci is somewhat different.
Anthony Fauci earned a medical degree in 1966 but if he ever practiced medicine it was only for a short time. In 1968, to avoid treating wounded American soldiers in Vietnam, he hired on as “yellow beret” with the NIH. Fauci’s bio showed no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry, vital for the study of virology. Even so, in the early 1980s Fauci became the government’s point man on AIDS and claimed the cause was a retrovirus known as HIV.
UC Berkeley molecular biologist Peter Duesberg, an expert on retroviruses, found no evidence for that cause. Neither did Nobel laureates Walter Gilbert and Kary Mullis, inventor of the polymerase chain reaction. Neither did Charlie Thomas, a successful entrepreneur who founded several biotech companies. Free from dependency on government funds, Thomas launched the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis, with Mullis, Duesberg, Robert Root-Bernstein and many other medical scientists signing on.
Dr. Fauci claimed HIV “overexcites some immune signaling pathways, while eluding the detection of others. And though the main target of the virus appears to be the famed helper T-cells, or CD-4 cells, which it can infiltrate and kill, the virus also ends up stimulating the response of other immune cells so inappropriately that they eventually collapse from overwork or confusion.”
Thomas and Mullis responded that “no other virus is credited with such a dazzling repertoire of destructive skills.” HIV was “a conventional retrovirus with a very simple genetic organization,” and had not been shown to damage the immune system. In other words, Dr. Fauci had no clue what he was talking about. Mullis, who earned his PhD in biochemistry at UC Berkeley, went on record that Fauci “doesn’t understand electron microscopy and he doesn’t understand medicine. He shouldn’t be in a position like he’s in.” But he was.
That position was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the division of the NIH in charge of vaccines. Dr. Fauci’s remedy for AIDS was AZT (azidothymidine) a DNA chain terminator rejected for cancer treatment because of cytotoxicity. There was no evidence that AZT, marketed as Zidovudine, would cure or prevent AIDS. Even so, Fauci subjected foster children and pregnant women to trials of AZT and other dangerous drugs.
Charles Thomas believed “it was a matter of civic duty” to get involved, because “real fabrications” were taking place. “Nowhere has such a morally destructive scam by self-interested scientists been permitted,” Thomas told The Harvard Crimson. “$7.35 billion is being spent on AIDS research and education based on the HIV hypothesis. These dollars should not be taken from the taxpayers.” But they were.
Dr. Fauci’s prediction that AIDS would ravage the general population was hopelessly wrong, yet Fauci remained at the helm of NIAID. Fauci’s wife Christine Grady, whose 1995 The Search for an AIDS Vaccine is a classic of casuistry, is now head of bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, nepotism on a whole new level. Whatever Dr. Fauci wants to do, dutiful wife Christine will tell him it’s ethical. True to form, Dr. Fauci wants infants as young as six months to get vaccinated.
Anthony Fauci lacks the qualifications and experience of distinguished biological scientists such as Charles Thomas, Peter Duesberg, Kary Mullis, and many others. Instead of debating the facts with epidemiologists Jay Bhattachyra (Stanford), Martin Kulldorff (Harvard) and Sunetra Gupta (Oxford), authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, Fauci launches a smear campaign against them.
Fauci funded dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and lied about it to Congress. When Sen. Rand Paul called him out, Fauci attacked Paul as a liar. The NIAID boss claims “I represent science” and looks up at a life-sized portrait of himself. Behold a man in love with himself and his power.
Dr. Fauci lays out public health policy and with a NIAID budget of more than $6 billion, controls the purse strings on medical research. Those who challenge Dr. Fauci can find their funding at risk and their careers on the line.
That is what happened to UC Berkeley molecular biologist Peter Duesberg, a pioneer in cancer research. As a forthcoming article will show, the consequences proved disastrous for health and science alike.