Anthony Fauci: From AIDS to COVID-19, a Pharma Love Story

September 12, 2022 Updated: September 19, 2022

Commentary

After 48 years of leading the U.S. government’s responses to infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently announced his plans to retire at the end of the year. His story warrants a closer look because of what it tells us about U.S. politics, business, and health care.

For decades before his recent fame, Fauci has been a medical researcher credited with important new understandings of the human immune response, particularly in HIV and AIDS. He also helped develop therapies for several previously fatal diseases, including a treatment of vasculitis that turned a 98 percent mortality rate into a 93 percent survival rate.

For most of his career, he has been the world’s most-cited researcher on AIDS and infectious diseases. He has received many awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Ironically, Fauci has also presided over a decades-long decline in the overall health of U.S. citizens. During his time in public health, a great number of chronic illnesses have become commonplace. Food allergies, autoimmune diseases, and cancer now affect more than half of U.S. children. Autism, once rare, now affects 1 in 44 children.

A Lifetime in Public Health

Fauci was born in Brooklyn in 1940, the son of a pharmacist. Pharmacy was the family business, and both his mother and sister worked in his father’s shop beneath their apartment. As a young man, Fauci studied medicine at Cornell University, graduating first in his class. After his residency in 1966, he took a research job at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and he has worked for the U.S. government ever since.

In his five decades in public health, Fauci has advised every president since Ronald Reagan. Since 1984, he has been the head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of 27 institutes within the NIH, with the mission of researching and preventing infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.

For many Americans, Fauci has been the trusted face of the U.S. government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was his confident explanations, both to the public and to policymakers, which led to the use of lockdowns, business closures, masking, and vaccines as the response to the virus.

His many critics see a different Anthony Fauci—a bureaucrat who seems to have made a career of putting politics and corporate profits above public health.

“Dr. Fauci has shaped the American medical world,” Mary Holland, president of Children’s Health Defense, told The Epoch Times. “He’s moved American health institutions, NIH in particular, to a very intertwined relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.”

Holland’s nonprofit organization, chaired by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has been a prominent critic of Fauci’s policies—particularly the mass vaccination of U.S. citizens.

Censorship and Control

“Dr. Fauci and his NIAID have played a very dark role in COVID,” Holland said. “The level of propaganda we have lived through in the last two years is unprecedented in my lifetime. I lived in the Soviet Union after law school, fighting for human rights and working against government propaganda and censorship. And now we are living through that in the United States.”

According to Holland, Fauci is the key player in the U.S. government’s efforts to control all information relating to the pandemic and the virus.

“The documents are coming out that show that the government has been censoring us, suppressing factual information that relates to this virus and the pandemic,” she said.

Even criticism of Fauci has been censored, according to Holland.

“Robert Kennedy’s new book, ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’ has been suppressed at every turn,” she said.

The 2021 book takes a hard look at Fauci’s career and his handling of the pandemic. Kennedy has found it to be almost impossible to promote his book.

“No major publication in the country would review the book,” Holland said. “The New York Times would not include it on their bestseller list, and he [Kennedy] was not invited on any major media platform, except for Tucker Carlson and The Epoch Times. The level of censorship has been astonishing.”

Kennedy isn’t the only one being censored. For two years, mainstream media outlets have ignored the scientists who have questioned Fauci’s views. These scientists have seen their ideas rejected (or later retracted) by medical journals, denounced by government officials, and censored by social media platforms.

Fauci has been candid about his suppression of dissent.

“Attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science,” Fauci told CNBC in a June 2021 interview.

In May, the attorneys general for Missouri and Louisiana filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and other White House officials, accusing them of violating the First Amendment by colluding with social media giants to suppress information about the pandemic. According to recently released court documents, the Biden administration worked so closely with social media firms that Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg gave Fauci his personal phone number when the crackdown on COVID-19 information began.

But why this need for control? What information needed to be covered up? According to Holland, it’s the role that Fauci may have played in creating—and prolonging—this pandemic.

Epoch Times Photo
The P4 laboratory (L) on the campus of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, on May 27, 2020. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

“By all appearances, they have tried to cover up their role in funding lethal gain of function research in China,” she said. “They have also suppressed the use of lifesaving early treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, and they have suppressed valuable research into preventive measures that could have saved countless lives.”

The result, Holland and other critics say, is a dark period in U.S. history.

Fauci’s Pandemic?

Starting in early 2020, Americans faced unprecedented government intrusion in their lives. Business and school closures, lockdowns, mask mandates—the man behind these government policies has been Fauci. In countless interviews and press conferences, he positioned himself as the one true source of correct COVID-19 information and guidance.

Emergency orders at the federal, state, and local levels were based on his opinions. He himself took credit for the policy of lockdowns, saying in October 2020: “I recommended to the president that we shut the country down. That was a very difficult decision because I knew it would have very serious economic consequences.”

“Anthony Fauci is clearly at the very center of all things COVID,” Holland said. “And he has been in charge of controlling the information about the pandemic.

“From the very beginning, when many scientists were pointing to a lab origin for this virus. Anthony Fauci put a stop to that important debate.”

Despite the discovery of NIAID’s funding of gain-of-function research on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Fauci continues to say that the virus likely has a natural origin.

A similar thing happened with scientific opposition to his policies. The Great Barrington Declaration, written in October 2020 and signed by more than 60,000 doctors and scientists, opposed lockdowns and advocated for a new policy of protecting only the most vulnerable populations while allowing the rest to live freely and develop natural immunity.

Fauci called the declaration “ridiculous” and “very dangerous” and led a campaign to attack the authors and signatories, instead of their ideas.

“It has been remarkable to see one of the most influential figures in American life purposely suppressing truthful information—about a lab leak, about scientists who said there should be no lockdowns, about the value of masks and the risks of vaccines,” Holland said.

“In the COVID response, we saw extraordinary corruption. The origin of the virus was covered up. Important treatments were suppressed. And vaccines were authorized and mandated on inadequate science.”

ivermectin
Ivermectin tablets packaged for human use. (Natasha Holt/The Epoch Times)

Suppression of Cures

One of the most astonishing aspects of Fauci’s leadership during the pandemic has been his strong opposition to any potential treatment. In two years, neither he nor any U.S. government agency has published a single treatment protocol for COVID-19 patients.

In contrast, China had a treatment protocol online by mid-March 2020. The result of an organized collection of data from hundreds of hospitals treating thousands of patients, the Chinese protocol included simple solutions, such as saline nasal lavage and antiseptic mouthwash to reduce viral loads, and cheap drugs, such as zinc, Pepcid, chloroquine, and antibiotics.

As of this writing, the United States still has no official treatment protocol. And no protocols have been proposed by any major U.S. university or research hospital. Yet every U.S. doctor who has tried to publish one has been quickly censored and ridiculed.

Dr. Peter McCullough knows this firsthand. The author of the protocol that became the most downloaded medical paper of 2020, McCullough was among the first U.S. doctors to develop, test, and publish a successful treatment protocol, resulting in an 85 percent reduction in hospitalizations and death among his patients.

A medical doctor and author of more than 600 peer-reviewed research articles, McCullough, at first, had no thought of developing his own treatment plan. But he soon became alarmed at the government’s failure to provide treatment advice to U.S. doctors.

By May 2020, McCullough began taking action. He quickly set up a network of doctors to share information about effective treatments—something Fauci never did.

For his efforts, he found himself sued by Baylor University, had his Wikipedia page re-written to label him as a source of “COVID misinformation,” and had his reputation attacked in print and online—all while major medical institutions did nothing to find a treatment.

“They didn’t even try,” McCullough is quoted as saying in “The Real Anthony Fauci.” “Harvard, John Hopkins, Duke, you name it. There wasn’t an ounce of original research coming out of America to fight COVID—other than vaccines.”

Across the country, Dr. Pierre Kory was fighting the same battle. The co-founder of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC), Kory and a team of doctors were quickly developing their own protocol and putting it online. Like McCullough, Kory had discovered the effectiveness of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and a number of other inexpensive and easily available drugs.

Kory testified twice to the U.S. Senate explaining the success of his treatment protocol. He also submitted a formal paper to the NIH, which quickly dismissed the results as “insufficient data” lacking proper clinical trials. Another research paper explaining the protocol was retracted by the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology because of “unsupported claims.”

“The efficacy of some of these drugs … is almost miraculous. We could have stopped the pandemic in its tracks in the spring of 2020,” Kory said. “Yet Dr. Fauci refused to promote any of these interventions. It’s not just that he made no effort to find effective off-the-shelf cures—he aggressively suppressed them.

“You had Birx, Fauci, and Redfield doing press conferences every day. And not one of them ever treated a COVID patient or worked in an emergency room or ICU. They knew nothing.

“Dr. Fauci’s suppression of early treatments will go down in history as having caused the deaths of half a million Americans.”

But why would Fauci suppress effective treatments? Why attack doctors trying to find a solution? According to Kennedy, it might be because safe and effective treatments for COVID-19 would make the new vaccines unnecessary.

Successful treatments aren’t just a marketing challenge for the vaccine manufacturers—they’re a legal obstacle, too. Once a successful treatment for COVID-19 is established, it becomes much less likely that the Food and Drug Administration would grant emergency use authorization (EUA) to new vaccines and new drugs. Under federal law, there must be no approved alternative way of treating or preventing a disease before authorizing an EUA.

The EUA under which the experimental vaccines were given to millions of Americans would never have been granted if COVID-19 was known to be an easily treatable disease.

In “The Real Anthony Fauci,” Kennedy wrote, “His bizarre and inexplicable actions give credence to the suspicions held by many Americans that Dr. Fauci is working to prolong the epidemic in order to impose expensive patented drugs and vaccines on a captive population.”

AIDS

COVID-19 isn’t the first time that Fauci has been accused of using public policy to benefit big pharma corporations. Forty years ago, at the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States, many AIDS activists called him a sellout to drug companies.

“You are responsible for all government-funded AIDS treatment research,” activist Larry Kramer said in an open letter to Fauci in the San Francisco Examiner in 1988. “You are part of a government bureaucracy that values thriving pharmaceutical company entrepreneurism over the health of people with HIV.”

Kramer’s criticism was that instead of focusing on improving patients’ health, Fauci’s only answer to AIDS was the development of new drugs.

“How long will it take you to start focusing on the immune system, how to boost it and how to prevent the opportunistic infections that are killing people with AIDS? Still, you give your blessing to clinical trials of highly profitable toxins,” the letter reads. “You are a pill-pushing pimp that cooperates with drug companies in forcing dangerous concoctions down the throats of a desperate community. AIDS drugs are not sold to help people, they are sold to make a profit.”

Epoch Times Photo
White House chief medical adviser on COVID-19 Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md., on Feb. 11, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

Conflicts of Interest

Despite the criticism Fauci endured, the AIDS crisis produced the most important opportunity of his career: using NIAID to develop and profit from new drugs. His collaboration with pharmaceutical companies quickly grew into a billion-dollar business.

The 1980 Bayh-Dole Act allowed NIAID and government scientists such as Fauci to directly profit from drug development. Under the law, NIAID was now allowed to file patents on the new drugs that their research was creating, then license those drug patents back to pharmaceutical companies. Individual government scientists could also put their names on patents and collect royalties.

This created a new income stream for him: royalties on the sales of all drugs developed through NIAID-funded research. Drug development very quickly became the focus of Fauci’s NIAID, and millions of dollars in royalties started to pour in.

According to a 2006 investigation by The Associated Press, NIH and NIAID were concealing millions of dollars in royalties paid not just to the agencies, but to individual officials, including Fauci, with little regard for the ethical and legal conflicts of interest. This information wasn’t made public until the AP obtained the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

In early 2022, OpenTheBooks.com, a government watchdog nonprofit, reported more than 22,0000 royalty payments totaling nearly $134 million from pharma companies to the NIH and directly to more than 1,600 NIH scientists. These payments occurred between 2009 and 2014. Data from 2015 onward isn’t yet available.

As a co-owner of drug and vaccine patents, Fauci himself receives royalty payments, including from the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The amount of these payments hasn’t been made public.

It’s perhaps no coincidence then that the Biden administration’s COVID-19 plan, “The Path out of the Pandemic,” consists of only one strategy: more government vaccination mandates.

“Think about it,” Holland said. “NIAID is a joint venture partner with Moderna! How can the government be a joint venture partner with a for-profit corporation? And then set public policy to force the use of that product? The conflict of interest is astounding.”

Experiments in New York

Drug development for AIDS created a little-known episode in Fauci’s career. Starting in 1985, NIAID provided funding for clinical drug trials on HIV-positive children, studies that included children in the New York foster care system.

According to a 2009 report by the Vera Institute of Justice, 25 of the children involved in these experiments died, although there’s no evidence that they died as a direct result of the experiments.

“NIAID under Fauci exploited the most vulnerable in our society to develop new drugs,” Holland said. “These were poor children, without parents, many of whom were already very sick. Episodes like this make one genuinely recall other medical atrocities in history, experiments conducted on vulnerable people without proper informed consent.”

Experiments in Africa

Experimentation on humans has been a key part of Fauci’s role in new drug and vaccine development, especially in Africa in the search for a solution to AIDS.

Since the mid-1990s, he has been the chief promoter of the quest for an HIV vaccine. Under his advice, every U.S. president since Clinton has pledged billions of taxpayer dollars to this project—foreign aid diverted away from food and infrastructure to vaccine manufacturers and their research projects in the name of eradicating AIDS in Africa.

In early 2000, Fauci and Bill Gates formed a unique partnership to control this flow of money. By leveraging the research funding available through Fauci’s NIAID, Gates’s celebrity philanthropy, the tragedy of AIDS, and the massive wealth of pharmaceutical companies, Fauci and Gates acquired tremendous influence over health policy around the world.

This partnership is detailed in a 2008 report in the Journal of European Molecular Biology, provocatively titled “The grand impact of the Gates Foundation. Sixty billion dollars and one famous person can affect the spending and research focus of public agencies.”

As many human rights organizations have pointed out, Fauci and Gates have spent decades profiting from the use of Africans as test subjects for experimental drugs that often do great harm. And there is still no vaccine for HIV.

Fauci’s COVID Failure

Fauci and Gates haven’t done any better in their battle against COVID-19. With near-total control of U.S. public health policies, Fauci presided over one of the highest pandemic death rates in the world. In 2020, the United States suffered 15 percent of the world’s COVID-19 deaths—in a country with just 4 percent of the world’s population.

Despite lockdowns, social distancing, masks, and vaccines, as of July, the total COVID-19 mortality rate in the United States was 3,099 deaths per million, the 15th-highest mortality rate in the world.

For comparison, the total COVID-19 mortality rate in Japan is just 250 deaths per million, Venezuela is 202 deaths per million, and the Philippines is 553 deaths per million. Sweden, which never locked down, never mandated masks, and never forced vaccinations, has a mortality rate of 1,849 COVID-19 deaths per million, 40 percent lower than the United States.

According to a June study in the British Medical Journal, average life expectancy in the United States plummeted in 2020, dropping by 1.9 years—a rate 8.5 times greater than the average drop in other developed nations.

“Dr. Fauci’s remedies were often more lethal than the disease they pretend to treat,” Kennedy wrote. “His COVID prescriptions were no exception. With his narrow focus on the solution of mass vaccination, Dr. Fauci … seems to have never considered that his unprecedented quarantine of the healthy would kill far more people than COVID, obliterate the global economy, plunge millions into poverty and bankruptcy, and grievously wound constitutional democracy globally.”

After two years of failed interventions, Fauci said he would have done things differently. In an interview with “The Hill” in July, he said his biggest mistake was not enacting even harsher measures.

“If I knew in 2020 what I know now, there would have been much, much more stringent restrictions in the sense of very, very heavy encouragement of people to wear masks, physical distancing, what have you,” Fauci said.

To this, Holland had a simple reply: “We cannot have one person run a whole area of public health for the country for close to 50 years. This is not the way to run health care in a democratic country.”

Fauci’s office and NIAID officials didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Lorenzo Puertas
Freelance Reporter
Lorenzo Puertas is a freelance writer in San Francisco covering China and U.S. topics for The Epoch Times. He loves liberty and personal responsibility.