Acting National Institutes of Health Director Lawrence Tabak has named Jeanne M. Marrazzo, M.D., as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Shes a really good person, said Dr. Fauci, who held the post from 1984 to 2023. I think shes going to do a really good job.
Marrazzo, currently director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, shares some career experience with the longtime NIAID boss.
Marrazzos Scanty Medical Background
Fauci and Marrazzo are both medical doctors, but neither built a career practicing medicine. Like Fauci, Dr. Marrazzos bio shows no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry, both vital for virology.
Dr. Marrazzo specializes in sexually transmitted infections, especially as they affect womens health. Her research interests include pathogenesis, the management of bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted diseases in HIV-infected persons, and the management of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea.
She is a co-author of the 2022 paper Sexually transmitted infections and female reproductive health, which contends that women are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) throughout life. Marrazzo is also known for a commitment to health equity.
In a 2021 interview with Todd Unger of the American Medical Association, Marrazzo said that health equity should be part of every physicians training because most physicians in training are very privileged people. Unger asked Marrazzo about strategies to improve health equity.
I think they can walk the walk, Marrazzo said. All these places are developing policies. Theyre naming chief diversity officers, equity officers. I think those are first steps, but if you dont do the hard stuff and follow up with the meaningful actions that increase representation in the C-suite or in the deans office or whatever you want to call it, then its not going to help.
Marrazzos Track Record on COVID Isnt Great
Marrazzo was also distressed over disparities in outcomes with COVID, claiming, History is going to judge us very, very harshly. During the pandemic, Marrazzo took a high-profile role.
In an April 17, 2020, session on C-SPAN, Dr. Marrazzo lamented the wild fluctuations in the models but said she was not a modeler. She recommended the CDC website for both the public and health professionals. The Washington Post, in her opinion, was another fantastic source.
In a June 2020 video, Marrazzo touted masks as a way to control the pandemic. If physical distancing was also applied, that would help shut down community transmission. In Oct. 2020, Marrazzo contended that wearing a mask is very effective and the single best thing people could do to prevent COVID.
On Halloween, kids could trick-or-treat if they wore masks and practiced social distancing. People could also put out the candy in a container. As Thanksgiving 2020 approached, Marrazzo said, The safest thing is not to gather in groups that you have not been cohorting with. That applied in gyms, bars and churches and singing is a great way, Im sorry to say, to share this virus. The virus was incredibly communicable, and even a negative PCR test was not a passport, not definitive. People could be asymptomatic and still pass on COVID.
In 2021, with the Omicron variant looming, Marrazzo said that COVID vaccines, masking, and social distancing do actually work and, if applied, could help avoid anything looking like a total lockdown. Marrazzo contended that lingering damage from the last lockdown is still tangible, particularly with young kids, families, and schools. Even so, wearing masks was the only way to keep kids in school and keep them safe and, particularly, to keep schools open.
Marrazzos views on the origin of COVID are hard to find. Fauci, who claims to represent science, contended that the virus arose naturally in the wild, but the FBI believes the likely source was a laboratory in Wuhan, China. Dr. Fauci lied about American funding of the Wuhan Institute of Virologys gain-of-function research, which makes viruses more lethal and transmissible. Marrazzos views on the dangerous practice, once banned by the NIH, are likewise hard to find.
As new studies contend, wearing masks can be harmful, particularly for children. Marrazzo has not exactly gone public with any second thoughts she might have on the subject. In a similar style, the subject of vaccine injuries does not appear to interest the new NIAID director. Since NIAID is the NIH division for developing vaccines, that would be an interesting question for a confirmation hearing. Unfortunately, none will take place.
Marrazzos New Position Comes With Power and No Term Limits
Marrazzo is the pick of acting NIH boss Lawrence Tabak, and that settles it. She will command a budget of $6.3 billion, with 21 laboratories and 133 countries conducting NIAID-funded activities. Despite all that money and influence, there appears to be no limit on the term of the NIAID director.
Fauci, in government for more than half a century, ruled the roost for nearly 40 years. In 2020, Fauci teamed up with NIH director Frances Collins to shut down the scientists of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), who argued for a more humane policy on lockdowns.
If we want scientists to speak freely in the future, GDB signatory Jay Bhattacharya, professor of medicine at Stanford, said, we should avoid having the same people in charge of public health policy and medical research funding. That unchecked concentration of power is still in place.
The NIAID director should be limited to a single four-year term and held to account for all actions in office. All NIAID grants should be posted on the internet in real time and in a downloadable form. Absent these reforms, NIAID will be the same as the old boss, a tough act to follow.
Anthony Fauci is now the subject of an official criminal referral by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for lying about funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Paul, a medical doctor, charges that viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans.