Dr. Anthony Fauci has flip-flopped so much at this point, the good doctor accusing reporters and politicians (and the president) of "twisting his words" has become par for the course every time anything remotely controversial is attributed to him.
But his latest back-pedal is particularly amusing, since after repeatedly sticking his foot in his mouth, the doctor is now trying to undo the damage he just did to the "credibility" of COVID-19 vaccines by suggesting that the UK "rushed" its decision to grant emergency-use approval to Pfizer's experimental mRNA vaccine (which, remember, has been dubbed the "vaccine of the rich" by the media).
On Thursday, Dr. Fauci doubled down on his criticism that the UK's vaccine had been "rushed", before apologizing and claiming it was a "misunderstanding."
Of course, Dr. Fauci is hardly alone here. As we noted in our initial coverage of the UK's approval on Wednesday, when the head of the UK's top pharma regulator said the "benefits" of speedy approval clearly outweighed the "risks" of waiting. EU lawmakers have also criticized the decision, which notably beat the EU's own regulators to the punch.
On Thursday, Dr. Fauci told Fox News that UK regulators hadn't scrutinized the Pfizer trial data as "carefully" as the FDA has. "If you go quickly and you do it superficially, people are not going to want to get vaccinated," he said.
"They kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile," Dr. Fauci told CBS.
Indeed, although Dr. Fauci loves "the Brits", the fact is that they didn't "scrutinize" the data "really carefully".
"I love the Brits, they're great, they're good scientists, but they just took the data from the Pfizer company and instead of scrutinizing it really, really carefully, they said, 'OK, let's approve it, that's it.' And they went with it."
Fauci then walked back on his comments later on Thursday in an interview with the BBC, saying there was "no judgement on the way the UK did it," and that he hadn't meant to imply any "sloppiness" from UK regulators. He suggested, as he often does, that the media had misreported his comments.
"There really has been a misunderstanding and for that I'm sorry and I apologize" he said. "I do have great faith in both [the] scientific community and regulatory community in the UK."
He also claimed that if the US had approved the vaccine that quickly, there would have been "pushback".
"We do things a certain way in the US — possibly a little different, not necessarily better or worse than what's done in the UK, and that's where I slipped," he said.
Dr. Fauci did 4 TV interviews yesterday, and like we noted earlier these lapses are nothing new. Dr. Fauci has one job right now: to push vaccine credibility. If he can't even manage that, why is he still doing 20 media interviews a week?