FACT CHECK: Did The New York Post Call Anthony Fauci ‘The Man Who Gave Us AIDS’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows the cover of the New York Post from 1987 featuring an image of White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Facebook/Screenshot

Verdict: False

The image has been altered to include Fauci. The actual front page included a photo of a couple who were the subject of another story published in the edition.

Fact Check:

The image appears to show a black-and-white front page of an Oct. 6, 1987, edition of the New York Post. It features a picture of Fauci below a headline that reads, “The Man Who Gave Us AIDS.”

The image, however, has been digitally altered. Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found an archived version of the New York Post’s Oct. 6, 1987, front page on Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s library website. The archived front page contains the same headline as the Facebook image, but doesn’t show a photo of Fauci.

Instead, the front page included a picture of Millicent Moore Tomassetti, a woman who was the subject of a different story published in the same newspaper edition, and her husband Louis Tomassetti, according to its caption. The front page title of the story related to the photo of the couple reads, “His love’s safe after ordeal on icy peak.”

The image of Fauci in the altered Facebook image appears to be from a short profile of him published by Time Magazine in September 2020 as part of its “100 Most Influential People Of 2020” list. (RELATED: Is Anthony Fauci Mother Teresa’s Son?)

The “Man Who Gave Us AIDS” article published by the New York Post focused on a gay French-Canadian flight attendant named Gaëtan Dugas, who the outlet claimed at the time was “patient zero” of the AIDS epidemic, according to The New York Times. A study published in 2016 by the journal Nature later disproved the claim that Dugas was “patient zero,” The Los Angeles Times reported. More than 40,000 people died of AIDs in 1987, according to the Foundation of AIDS Research.

The New York Post did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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