How Fauci’s Book Has Been Covered by Liberal and Conservative Media

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the former government scientist, has been on something of a media spree in recent weeks, and liberal and conservative media outlets have used very different tones to cover his appearances.

Dr. Fauci, who was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the public face of the country’s fight against Covid, is promoting a new memoir, “On Call,” that includes an account of his time in government under former President Donald J. Trump. This month he also testified before Congress in a contentious hearing about the origins of the coronavirus.

Progressive publications have praised Dr. Fauci, quoting extensively from his book and taking the opportunity to criticize Mr. Trump for his policies on Covid.

Conservative outlets have largely ignored Dr. Fauci’s book and focused more on his testimony in Congress. They painted Dr. Fauci as a villain and falsely accused him of helping start the pandemic. The coverage also highlighted an intense divide over the supposed origins of the coronavirus; a 2023 poll by Quinnipiac University showed that more Republicans than Democrats believe it originated from a lab leak.

Here’s how some of those outlets have covered Dr. Fauci in recent days:

Throughout the pandemic, Democrats viewed Dr. Fauci as a hero and the vanguard of the scientific community’s dissent against Mr. Trump, who supported opening businesses and schools before vaccines were available and railed against wearing masks.

MSNBC, which has long praised Dr. Fauci for his handling of the public health response to Covid-19, characterized him as a bulwark against Mr. Trump and Republicans. Rachel Maddow, the popular host on the network, promoted Dr. Fauci’s book, calling it “fascinating.”

“The Trump movement and its members in Congress and its supporters in the media are still going after Dr. Fauci,” Ms. Maddow said on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Tuesday, because “he represents expertise.”

While interviewing Dr. Fauci on his show “The Beat” on Tuesday, the MSNBC host Ari Melber said Mr. Trump had lost the 2020 election in part because of his handling of the pandemic. In a June 4 article, Steve Benen, an MSNBC contributor, wrote “there was no case to bring” against Dr. Fauci for his handling of the pandemic.

HuffPost, a liberal news outlet, published four separate articles based on individual anecdotes in Dr. Fauci’s book, all of which relied on the scientist’s recollections of interactions with Mr. Trump.

One article focused on Dr. Fauci’s recounting of the “Surprising Aftermath of Correcting Donald Trump on Live TV,” referring to an encounter in which Dr. Fauci rejected Mr. Trump’s false claim that the drug hydroxychloroquine could cure Covid-19. Dr. Fauci outlined in his book that though he expected Mr. Trump to berate him, the former president celebrated the program’s ratings instead.

In its coverage of Dr. Fauci’s testimony earlier in June, HuffPost focused more on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican, who it said went on “an off-topic rant” about animal testing during his testimony.

In conservative media, Dr. Fauci has become a symbol of what many conservatives saw as governmental overreach during the pandemic.

The New York Post homed in this week on a comment made by Dr. Fauci on CBS News on Tuesday, where he said keeping schools closed for a year was “a mistake.”

The right-leaning outlet’s headline said Dr. Fauci “finally reverses course, agrees keeping schools closed during COVID was ‘mistake.’” The article highlighted Dr. Fauci’s cautious approach to reopening schools in 2020, as well as statistics that found student learning suffered during the pandemic.

The New York Post has featured other criticisms of Dr. Fauci recently as well. On June 15, the site ran an article that said he “bragged” about turning down a lucrative offer from a private company in order to keep working for the government, citing an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” in which Dr. Fauci said he received job offers from pharmaceutical companies and private equity firms.

The Washington Examiner, a conservative site that has also criticized Dr. Fauci for his handling of the pandemic, published two articles this week as part of a series it calls “Fauci Unmasked” that chronicles some of his work on Covid-19.

The first article ran with the headline “Clearing the record on masks, social distancing, and vaccines.” In it, the writer Gabrielle M. Etzel said Dr. Fauci “flip-flopped on the use of mandates and social pressure to increase vaccination rates.” Dr. Fauci did not initially support the widespread use of masks.

The second article, also by Ms. Etzel, focused on the congressional investigation into the origins of the pandemic, and described Dr. Fauci as “a person of interest” in that inquiry. But the article also acknowledged that the investigation had not found Dr. Fauci knew about “possibly dangerous research at the Wuhan lab.”

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