You Were Right to Question Fauci — and I Was Wrong Not To

Gabrielle D’Arcy
4 min readNov 3, 2021

Dr. Fauci lied. He told us, testifying before Congress in June of 2020, that there was no gain-of-function research conducted in Wuhan, China, on bat coronaviruses. But a recent bombshell revelation shows that that isn’t true. There was, in fact, research conducted on a bat coronavirus in Wuhan, China, that resulted in a particular cleavage point being placed onto the spike protein. Though the virus being experimented on was not SARS-CoV-2, this cleavage point is believed to be the very same mutation that caused the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to be unprecedentedly transmissible and cause a global pandemic that has killed almost five million people.

I’m no conspiracy theorist. I am not suggesting that Dr. Fauci or the National Institutes of Health deliberately engineered this virus to be used as a biological weapon, or that this was a “plandemic,” as far-right conspiracy-mongers like to claim. In fact, quite the opposite; I am one of millions of Americans who put my faith in Dr. Fauci and other experts amid the global crisis, only to discover that he intentionally hid vital information from us while we looked to him for guidance. We believed the scientists when they told us that this virus was unpreventable, and we complied when they told us that staying home was the only way to protect ourselves and our loved ones. So to discover now, nearly two years after the start of the pandemic, that not only were the experts lying to us, but that the experts themselves might have been responsible for some aspect of this devastating global crisis, it feels like a betrayal, and we have the right to demand that they — finally — tell us the truth.

A common refrain from liberal pundits during the worst of the pandemic was that the right-wingers who opposed stay-at-home orders were killing people. They were murderers, selfishly prioritizing haircuts and zoo trips over human lives. In my deep-blue community, my friends and neighbors scoffed at conservatives’ concern about government overreach. “These idiots don’t have doctorates,” they would laugh condescendingly from the living room couch, clad in pajama pants and bathrobes and working remotely from the comfort of their homes. “How can they think they know better than the experts?” Their thinly-veiled classism could not conceal the true meaning of their words: just believe what the government tells you.

We liberals trusted the science. And now we learn that “the science” might’ve been unethical: that there was, in fact, gain-of-function research, after all. After thousands of people lost their incomes and struggled to put food on the table; after a mental health crisis among children and teens desperate for social interaction; after being told that working-class blacks and Latinos and rural whites are selfish monsters for refusing to be vaccinated — we learn that we weren’t to blame, after all.

This isn’t incidental. This isn’t an innocent “oopsy-daisy.” This is a bombshell. The US government was using our tax dollars to fund controversial research that may’ve killed millions of people, then lied to us about it and blamed us for it. At the start of this pandemic, this country was in crisis, and people were desperate for leadership. Instead of being transparent and honest, the NIH assumed the truth was too complicated for us, so they lied to us as if we were children. They knew that if they told us the truth and gave us a choice about how to handle the virus, we’d make the wrong decision; so they appointed themselves the country’s information czars and decided for us what we were allowed to know. They created a two-tiered informational structure: one tier, the majority of the population, pays for research through their taxes but is forbidden to know about it; the second tier, a handful of government officials and agents, take our money and conduct the research, then lie to us about it. If there is any question, however remote, about whether the NIH or similar entities caused the problem in the first place, they should never have been allowed to dictate to us that the only solution to the problem was to curtail our civil liberties.

We did not elect the NIH. We did not appoint them the keepers of divine knowledge. They conducted risky research, then lied to us about it, and they were allowed to do so because we did not question them. Our media institutions deliberately dissuaded us from doubting their expertise, claiming that anyone who questioned Dr. Fauci was a conspiracy theorist and a “grandma killer.” They called Rand Paul a threat to the people. If questioning those in power makes you dangerous, what does being an internationally-famous government official lying to the public make you?

Pointing out the blatant dishonesty surrounding the coronavirus doesn’t make you a wingnut. It makes you honest. Dr. Fauci and the NIH must answer to the lies they told the American people and release any and all data about gain-of-function experiments conducted in Wuhan. I’m no longer scared of being called a Covid denier, and you shouldn’t be, either — better that than a gain-of-function denier.