Dr. Anthony Fauci is out with On Call: A Doctor’s Journey in Public Service, but even before the new book, ABC’s Jonathan Karl had a question.

“I have to ask you about all this talk about—about Biden’s health,” Karl said. “You’ve worked with seven presidents. You know what the job entails. Why would someone in their 80s want to do another four years of this?” Dr. Fauci seemed to be taken off guard.

“You know, I think it’s just an individual choice, and you really can’t generalize,” Fauci said. “You have to take each individual person, you know, how they feel, what they feel they can do, you know, what their passion is, what their energy is. Those are the kind of things.”

Karl then wondered, “were you surprised? I mean, you worked with him. You worked closely with him ... Were you surprised by what you saw in that debate?”

“Well, you know,” Fauci responded. “I don’t want to comment on anything that would have any political implications. You know me, over many years. But the one thing I can say and feel comfortable about is I have dealt with President Biden, and in my dealings with him, it’s been really very positive. He asks probing questions. He’s right on point on things. So my personal experience has been quite positive with him.”

Dr. Fauci Politician

Dr. Fauci’s concerns about “political implications” overrode the medical implications. That recalled an episode in 2021, when Dr. Fauci was the government’s chief spokesman on the Covid pandemic. A Jan. 30 report by New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed that thousands more nursing home residents may have died from Covid than New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had publicly acknowledged.

On Feb. 15, Gov. Cuomo defended his pandemic response and the next day Dr. Fauci appeared on CNN with Jim Sciutto. Gov. Cuomo had argued that New York was following federal guidelines when he ordered long-term care facilities to accept patients returning from hospitals, and the CNN host wondered if Dr. Fauci could clarify that claim.

“You know, Jim, I can’t,” Fauci responded. “I mean, excuse me. I really am—I’m honestly not trying to erase your question, but I’m not really sure of all the details of that, and I think if I, if you make a statement, it might be wrong or taken out of context. So, I prefer not to comment on that.” In reality, Fauci had already clarified the details.

In July of 2020, Dr. Fauci told reporters that unlike other states, New York responded “properly” and “correctly” to the pandemic. For his part, Gov. Cuomo said, “If you think there was a mistake, then go talk to the federal government. It’s not about pointing fingers or blame, this became a political football.”

Once again, political considerations blocked Dr. Fauci’s medical judgement, and that should come as no surprise. If he ever actually practiced medicine it was only for a short time.

Dr. Fauci Tenured Bureaucrat

In 1966, Anthony Fauci earned a medical degree from Cornell but in 1968 he took a job with the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Fauci’s bio showed no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry, but in 1984 he became head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Nobel laureate Kary Mullis, inventor of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), believed that Fauci “should not be in a position like he’s in.”

Dr. Fauci declined the offer of President George W. Bush to head the National Institutes of Health, which would have imposed a limited term. As NIAID boss, Dr. Fauci controlled public health policy and spending on medical research, a huge concentration of power. In effect, Dr. Fauci’s MD functioned as an Ed.D., basically a bureaucratic credential. A ballpark figure for the number of patients Dr. Fauci treated during the pandemic is zero, and his reluctance to render a post-debate medical opinion on Joe Biden was entirely political.

A government bureaucrat for more than 50 years, Dr. Anthony Fauci wielded executive-level power without ever having to face the voters. The task of Congress is to prevent that brand of white coat supremacy from happening again, and this is not a difficult matter.

The NIAID and NIH directors should be limited to a single four-year term. No single person should control public health policy and medical research spending. All NIAID and NIH grants should be revealed online in real-time and in downloadable form. NIH and NIAID directors must be held accountable for all actions in office.