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The Hubris of Bending Modernity to Fauci’s Will


In the aftermath of the pandemic, the quest for transparency and accountability in public health policy-making has become paramount. A troubling incident recently come to light involving David Morens, a senior scientific advisor at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a long-time associate of Dr. Anthony Fauci. It was uncovered that Morens had been using a personal email account to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and avoid media scrutiny. This revelation, coupled with the widely reported censorship of those who challenged the accepted narrative, raises concerns about the impartiality and transparency of our public health leaders. 

In the email in question, discussing the panic around the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Morens brazenly replies to the “who’s who” of early Covid pandemic advisors, including Dr. Fauci: “Don’t worry, just send to any of my addresses, and I will delete anything I don’t want to see in the New York Times.” That is very egregious by any standard. What are they trying to hide? What is the role and agenda of Morens in all of this?

This conduct becomes even more concerning when we revisit a September 2020 article authored by Fauci and Morens in Cell Magazine. (Morens has co-authored numerous articles and papers with Dr. Fauci for nearly two decades). The current article in question paints a grand narrative about the history of infectious diseases and finishes with a utopian longing for a time when humanity lived “in harmony with nature.” In truth, the conclusion is thinly veiled arrogance as Fauci and Morens call to “reshape” our world. They wonder aloud about our history fighting viruses: “…can we at least use lessons from those times to bend modernity in a safer direction?”

They go on to argue that the acceleration of disease emergences may be an “inevitability” due to “human behaviors that perturb the human-microbial status quo.” They suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic is a result of our “increasing inability to live in harmony with nature.” Most citizens would probably attest that the lockdowns pushed by Dr. Fauci were perturbing in their own way. It certainly was NOT the status quo.

The pair advocate for changes in behaviors and a “reconstruction [of] the infrastructures of human existence.”  They posit that our “living improvements achieved over recent centuries come at a high cost that we pay in deadly disease emergences.” This is pure scope creep – even for America’s highest paid federal employee – but Dr. Fauci was given carte blanche to lay out the framework for this “reconstruction” with his recommendations heading up the White House COVID-19 Task Force. 

One might wonder, are they suggesting that we trade our modern conveniences and urban landscapes for a romanticized past where disease still ravaged populations, but we were more “in harmony” with nature? Were stay-at-home orders a proxy for keeping us from trodding foot on nature?

Their arguments seem to echo global bastians like the World Economic Forum where Klaus Schwab touts sentiments on reseting the world post-Covid. While there’s merit in contemplating our environmental footprint, the narrative set forth by Fauci and Morens appears to lack the balance and nuanced understanding needed in our discussions about public health and policy-making. 

We must not overlook the audacity of these assertions and the implications they bear for public health policy. At the heart of the matter is the need for open dialogue, transparency, and the robust scrutiny of those in power. The recent revelations about Morens’ actions, combined with the tone of the Cell Magazine pice, underscores the necessity for this. Their intentions and dealings are still – opaque.

In the pursuit of a healthier world, let’s ensure we hold our leaders accountable, push for transparency, and encourage a balanced dialogue. We should be distinctly suspicious of calls to “bend modernity” to anyone’s will.

Originally published on the author’s Substack

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Justin Hart

    Justin Hart is an executive consultant with over 25 years experience creating data-driven solutions for Fortune 500 companies and Presidential campaigns alike. Mr. Hart is the Chief Data Analyst and founder of which helps companies, public policy officials, and even parents gauge the impact of COVID-19 across the country. The team at offers alternative solutions on how to move forward during this challenging pandemic.

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