FACT CHECK: Did Dr. Anthony Fauci Write This Viral Essay About COVID-19?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post claims top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote a long essay about the coronavirus that asks, “How dare you?”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence Fauci wrote the long statement. A spokesperson for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed he is not the author.

Fact Check:

Fauci, the NIAID director, has become a popular target for misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic.

This particular Facebook post attributes to Fauci a viral essay about COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. It attempts to compare research about the coronavirus to what scientists know about other viruses such as chickenpox and HIV, as well as criticize people for not taking precautions against COVID-19.

“How dare you risk the lives of others so cavalierly,” Fauci is quoted as writing. “How dare you decide for others that they should welcome exposure as ‘getting it over with’ when literally no one knows who will be the lucky ‘mild symptoms’ case, and who may fall ill and die.”

The post concludes with Fauci allegedly writing, “I reject the notion that it’s ‘just a virus’ and we’ll all get it eventually. What a careless, heartless stance.” (RELATED: Did Dr. Anthony Fauci Say All Americans Should Be Microchipped?)

However, the viral essay is misattributed. There is no record of Fauci ever publishing the essay. While the Wisconsin Gazette did attribute the words to Fauci, it does not provide sourcing, and no other news outlet appears to have done so.

“I can confirm Dr. Fauci did not write this essay,” NIAID spokesperson Laura Leifman told the Daily Caller in an email.

The essay appears to have originated with Amy Wright, a resident of Asheville, North Carolina. She confirmed to the fact-checking website Snopes that she originally authored the essay in a June 14 post and later made minor edits to the message and grammar.

“I think it’s very unfortunate that anyone would have tried to attribute this to Dr. Fauci,” she told Snopes. “The only possible outcome of doing so would be to reduce one’s credibility. It’s unfortunate.”

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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