Speeches by Joe Biden and Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker gained widespread media coverage. On the other hand, the speech given last week by Dr. Anthony Fauci at Columbia University failed to get the attention it deserved.

Fauci spoke of “egregious distortions of reality” and told the students: “Sadly, elements of our society are driven by a cacophony of falsehoods, lies, and conspiracy theories that get repeated often enough that after a while, they stand largely unchallenged, ominously leading to an insidious acceptance of what I call ‘the normalization of untruth.’ ... And we as much or more than anyone else need to push back on these distortions of truth and reality.” Critics were quick to push back.

“Everything he just accused all of us of is the stuff that he and his cadre of lunatics have been doing,” said Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report. Fauci, longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), maintained that he had not funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to perform dangerous gain-of-function research. On May 16, the day after Fauci’s speech, Lawrence Tabak, former acting director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), testified that NIAID did indeed fund gain-of-function research at the WIV through the EcoHealth Alliance.

Sen. Rand Paul, a medical doctor and author of Deception: The Great Covid Cover-up, accused Fauci of lying to Congress about that funding. That didn’t come up in Fauci’s speech, and neither did the 6-foot social distancing rule, which Fauci now acknowledges “just sort of appeared,” without any scientific basis. Also missing was Fauci’s claim to represent science, and the former NIAID boss left out details that would have been of particular interest to his audience, the students of Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Born in 1940, Anthony Fauci graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1962. In 1966, Fauci earned a medical degree from Cornell University, but he didn’t practice medicine for long. The government was then drafting physicians to treat wounded American soldiers in Vietnam, but the Cornell MD opted for a different path.

In 1968, Dr. Fauci took a cushy “yellow beret” job with the NIH and decided to stay. In 1984, the NIH made Fauci head of NIAID, and, for some medical scientists, that was a problem. Fauci had obtained no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry. Kary Mullis, who had a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and won a Nobel Prize for “his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method,” considered Fauci unqualified for the NIAID job.

“This man thinks you can take a blood sample and stick it in an electron microscope and if it’s got a virus in there, you will know it,” Mullis said. “He doesn’t understand electron microscopy and he doesn’t understand medicine. He should not be in a position like he’s in.” But he was—and with serious consequences for AIDS patients.

Fauci’s preferred cure was AZT, also known as azidothymidine and Zidovudine. The highly toxic drug failed to prevent or cure AIDS, but Fauci inflicted the drug on foster children in New York City, with disastrous results. He also branded critics “AIDS deniers,” a tactic he would repeat during the pandemic.

Instead of debating critics such as the scientists of the Great Barrington Declaration—most if not all of whom are more qualified than himself—Fauci branded them conspiracy theorists, fringe epidemiologists, and so forth. As with AZT, the COVID vaccines failed to prevent infection or transmission, but Fauci recommended them even for children, the least vulnerable group.

This is what happens when a medical doctor opts for a career as a government bureaucrat and remains in power for decades with no accountability. The Columbia students would do better to ignore Fauci, become practicing physicians and surgeons, and follow the rule of “first do no harm.” More doctors and fewer government bureaucrats should be the rule moving forward.