I have seen this infographic on social media sites (first seen on Reddit):

enter image description here

How much of this is accurate? Specifically, did Fauci say "be more concerned about influenza" with regard to the Corona virus?

  • 6
    Is it fair to call Fauci a Democrat? He's served under both republican and democratic administrations. Cursory googling doesn't look like he's disclosed his personal affiliation or even if he has any.
    – PC Luddite
    Oct 8 '20 at 23:01
  • 3
    Can we have an actual link to the claim being made here? This claim is remarkably difficult to track down. Google image search finds nothing; key phrases from the picture find nothing. Oct 9 '20 at 14:13
  • 2
    Gentle reminder for delete comments: WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL OPINION.
    – fredsbend
    Oct 10 '20 at 4:05
  • 1
    Sorry for the community response. The issue is knowing that the tendency for this site is to answer simply, rather than with thorough analysis. Every good skeptic knows that American politics is basically two camps: Trump and Not Trump. Virtually anything one side says the other will insist on the opposite. With COVID, yes, Dems criticized Trump for closing the Chinese/American "border". But then Trump later waffles on whether masks are useful. Is either "irresponsible" about COVID? Probably both. This site likely won't attract such an analysis, so they know the question won't work.
    – fredsbend
    Oct 13 '20 at 0:01
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    @Jimmery I am one of the downvotes. I am also the only person so far to vote to close. I downvoted for a number of reasons. (1) Lack of notability. Just because you found a random meme does not mean it is notable. (2) Occupy Democrats at the bottom of the image. There is no way that Occupy Democrats made this image. They are as anti-Trump as a group can get. (3) Two quotes by Dr. Fauci, as if he is a Democrat. He is as nonpartisan as a person can get. (4) Quoting (paraphrasing) out of context. Everyone, and every country, was operating in the fog of war when the pandemic first started. Oct 13 '20 at 22:06

These are not exact quotes, but paraphrased, with significant context removed.

Joe Biden (end of January):

“We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” Biden said in Iowa Friday. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia - hysterical xenophobia - and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”

Nancy Peloci (end of February):

"That’s what we’re trying to do today is to say everything is fine here," Pelosi said. "Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation."

Anthony Fauci (mid February):

The risk right now - today - currently - is really relatively low for the American public. But that could change. [...] This could evolve into a global pandemic. [...] Right now, don't worry about it. Be more concerned about influenza. [...] But keep in mind that the coronavirus situation could change.

I wasn't able to find the context for the de Blasio or Barbot quotes (it seems that Barbot did say something to that effect).

Note that as far as I can tell, Fauci is not a democrat; he has been an advisor to presidents since Reagan.

Note also that these quotes are from the early days of the pandemic, when information was still uncertain (see eg the quote by Fauci). With updated information, the advice on how to respond to the coronavirus has been updated as well (while others decided to downplay the situation intentionally).

  • 6
    It's important to keep in mind that at the time Fauci made that statement that not one death in the US had yet been attributed to coronavirus while the 2019-2020 flu season was already known to be nastier than average. Oct 8 '20 at 13:58

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