Sometimes a book's mere existence has an eminently greater cultural significance than its content. Such is the case of Dr. Fauci: A Little Golden Book Biography. The 24-page illustrated work, billed as "an inspiring read-aloud for young children," does not exist to entertain America's toddlers, but rather to soothe the secular souls of Millennial parents whose mental and emotional well-being have steadily deteriorated since November 8, 2016. It belongs in the adult "self care" section with a disclaimer urging prospective buyers to seek help.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a career bureaucrat who rose to national prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic, is merely the latest liberal icon to be featured in a Little Golden Book. The children's series dates back to 1942 but has only recently started targeting the aforementioned demographic of #Resistance nerds. Recent subjects include Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2020), Kamala Harris (2021), Betty White (2021), Sonia Sotomayor (2022), and Beyoncé (due out in 2023). Other titles are dedicated to more conventional religious figures such as God, Jesus, and Barack Obama.
This is the second children's book published about the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The authors of Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor got their product to market in June 2021, when President Joe Biden's approval rating was still comfortably above 50 percent. Theirs is "the definitive picture book biography" of Fauci, who contributed a section outlining his "five tips for future scientists." Tip number one—"Keep an open mind. Science is discovery, which means that from the beginning, you don't know what the answer is. Leave open all the possibilities of what you might find"—is arguably more honest and sensible than anything he's ever told American adults about COVID-19.
The biography itself is not particularly offensive. The illustrations are fine. But seriously, what kind of lunatic would subject a child to the details of Fauci's conventional childhood in postwar Brooklyn, or his crippling work addiction? "He worked fourteen hours a day, as well as on weekends," the author writes of Fauci. "His family waited until he got home at nine p.m. to eat dinner together. After his daughters went to sleep, Tony worked more." It would take a special kind of psychopath to be able to hold a two-year-old child in one's lap and read to them about AIDS, SARS, swine flu, Ebola, and COVID-19.
The book concludes with an astonishing pronouncement: "The world is a healthier place because of Dr. Anthony Fauci!" No one who buys this book would disagree, just as they would never admit that buying this book is a cry for help, that they aren't any less deranged than Robert Kennedy Jr., author of The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health. Reasonable people might argue that Fauci and his fellow "experts" have put our health at risk by setting their credibility on fire.
Fauci's so-called leadership during the pandemic enabled a cult of hysterical doomsayers whose greatest legacy will be the generation of children who suffered greatly from having their educations put on hold for the better part of two years. Throughout the pandemic, Fauci and other experts gave wildly conflicting opinions about the virus while maintaining an air of righteous certainty. Democratic politicians who claimed to "follow the science" were routinely exposed for violating their own safety guidelines. (Fauci himself was also busted.) At times, the scientific community shed all pretensions to objectivity by embracing left-wing activism. Not surprisingly, the federal response to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak has been disastrous, marred by "identity politics" and a reluctance to speak the truth for fear of promoting "stigma."
Just last month, Fauci said he regrets that the government did not impose "much, much more stringent restrictions" to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Good luck with that in the next pandemic. It will be his own damn fault when Americans completely disregard what government "experts" are telling them. Then again, Fauci's response to his improbable rise to elite liberal celebrity suggests he has no regrets. Last week, for example, Fauci accepted an award typically reserved for active Major League Baseball players and joked about creating COVID-19 in his kitchen.
While the past several years may have irreparably damaged the American public's confidence in the scientific establishment, Fauci's confidence in his own greatness and capacity for self-aggrandizement has not wavered. He's appeared on the cover of countless magazines. "With all due modesty, I think I'm pretty effective," he told In Style. Sick freaks are reading books about him to their kids. Last week, while being interviewed after accepting MLB's Hutch Award in Seattle, the doctor discussed the "Fauci Effect," explaining how he had come to symbolize "consistency," "integrity," and "truth" in this crazy world of ours.
Fauci, who turns 82 in December, refuses to set a date for his retirement. When that day comes, he will not be missed.
Dr. Fauci: A Little Golden Book Biography
by Suzanne Slade
Golden Books, 24 pp., $5.99