To the editor:
Some inherited diseases get worse in the next generation but I never suspected that fecklessness was one of them. And yet last night Donald Trump Jr. said that nobody dies of Covid-19 anymore. Nearly a thousand people died on that day. That followed his father announcing that doctors and nurses let patients die because they make more money—$2,000 more. This is worse than immoral; it is stupid.
Father, son, and their personal Rasputin, Dr. Scott Atlas, have particular ire for Dr. Fauci who has near universal respect from infectious disease physicians and researchers. He has been at it for a long time, through HIV, influenza, Zika, Ebola and now Covid-19. So have a lot of other people whose research is funded by his Institute at the NIH. He follows rules that neither Trump ever learned: study before you speak, give credit to others, and be ready to do what you ask your staff to do. Would either Trump suit up in protective gear for two hours a day to help a young Ebola patient? Would anyone from those shrieking crowds at his rallies? Dr. Fauci was 74 at the time he treated a nurse from Dallas named Nina Pham, who slowly recovered. If they read the case report of the first Ebola patient in Dallas, they will learn that Ebola patients produce liters of diarrhea. It seems like the perfect purgatory for cowards, but they can relax; no staff member would trust either one of them with so much as a mop.
The writer is Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center in New York.