If you watched National Geographic’s documentary “Fauci,” released last year on Disney+, you probably noticed the filmmakers fawning excessively over the nation’s de facto COVID czar. What you didn’t notice, however, was how much Dr. Anthony Fauci fawns over himself.
In details first noticed by a Twitter user on Wednesday, Fauci’s home office seems to be decorated with pictures of … himself.
Of course, Fauci has his reasons for being egocentric. Among them: He’s the top-paid federal government official, he wields immense control over our daily lives and he gets as much screen time as the president does, it seems.
According to the New York Post, the details were initially noted by user Karl Dierenbach.
This is the scene from the movie, as it originally appeared.
Can Christopher Nolan direct a short about this? It could be like “Inception,” only with 100 percent more Anthony Fauci.
Dierenbach had red arrows pointing out the three portraits of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that were displayed in his office. What the scene didn’t show, however, was a Fauci bobblehead on his office bookcase which often poses as the backdrop for his interviews:
The bobblehead is visible in this photo, just above Fauci’s left shoulder. (The New York Post has a better zoom of it — but alas, that one wasn’t found on Twitter and turns out to be their property.)
I’d like to point out, however, it’s in a position where, in old-timey cartoons, the devil sits to whisper bad advice into the protagonist’s ear. You’ll notice there’s no Fauci bobblehead on the right side where the angel would usually sit. I’m just saying. (While I’m at it, the bobblehead is also not wearing a mask.)
Twitter users noted this reeked of narcissism:
Oh, and about the masks — other users noticed how there seemed to be a lot of them around the office, despite the fact it’s presumably not a well-trafficked area.
And if you want to make the argument these aren’t props but for the occasions where he has visitors, consider the fact he was unmasked when this was being taken and he was being filmed, presumably not by a) drones or b) members of his family.
Now, I can hear the liberal objections from this side of the screen: Have there never been conservatives who have had portraits of themselves placed conspicuously about their properties? Why, I’m sure you can think of one specifically. He used to be Fauci’s boss, although sometimes the left seemed to think it was the other way around.
Yes — but how many times did you see pictures like this bandied about as evidence Trump was a narcissist? How many times have you heard the interminable story of the fake Time Magazine cover with Trump on it that the former president hung at some of his properties? These were repeated ad nauseam before and during the Trump presidency, and will presumably be repeated long afterward.
And it wasn’t just Trump’s self-portraiture the media was obsessed with. Surgeon, one-time GOP presidential candidate and former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson received insane amounts of coverage for this during his 2016 run at the White House:
He had other portraits of himself in his home, too — prompting the U.K. Guardian to run a November 2015 pictorial titled “Ben Carson’s house: a homage to himself – in pictures.” The evidence they dug up were two portraits of himself (one less than in Fauci’s office), pictures of himself with dignitaries like former President George W. Bush and honors the prominent neurosurgeon had received.
One usually publicly displays honors bestowed upon them as opposed to chucking them in the broom closet, but here’s how the Guardian described it: “In the basement near the pool table, the walls are lined with testaments to himself.”
The movie “Fauci” — an obsequious treatment which would have qualified as propaganda had actual government resources been spent on it — has been out since September. It took a Twitter user four months to notice this. Our media has mostly shrugged.
That brings us to the other issue at play, which is that the decor in Fauci’s office runs at a 90-degree angle to the way Fauci sells himself (and has been sold by the left).
I’m not sure two portraits of Ben Carson qualify him as egotistical, but he was never a man shy about touting his accomplishments — nor should he have been, given a rise from poverty to become one of America’s most prominent doctors, a man with enough political clout to make a plausible run for the presidency and someone who would eventually serve in a presidential cabinet. As for Trump, this was part of his larger-than-life personality. If there were three portraits of himself (and a bobblehead) in his office, he’d presumably respond that he was surprised there weren’t more and that his staff would get right on that.
Fauci, meanwhile, has been sold as a humble, tireless monk toiling away at NIAID — not for his benefit, but solely for ours. The 81-year-old soldiers on only so that we may socially distance more fruitfully, all in the service of science. Don’t take my word for it, though. Just watch “Fauci,” assuming you can sit through it.
Of course, part of the problem with this mythos is that Fauci has a problem with telling the difference between science and himself — as evidenced by an interview he conducted last November in which he said the quiet part out loud.
Asked about Republican senators who had leveled attacks upon him, particularly over his congressional testimony regarding gain-of-function research, Fauci responded “they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous.”
“And if you’re attacking me, you’re really attacking science. I mean, everybody knows that,” Fauci added.
So, there’s your out. He’s not an egotist. He loves science — heck, he represents science! — which is why he has three portraits of himself and a bobblehead in his office. Thus, they’re just pictures representing science. You’re not going to attack science, after all — or are you a denier?