Correction: I pushed back: Fauci on how his response to Trump on Covid turned him into public enemy No. 1 (4) WHO Bulletin (3)

10 January, 2023

[*Note from HIFA moderator (NPW): Chris's original message came through with a formatting issue to those receiving HIFA on the Immediate setting (as opposed to the Daily setting). Hopefully the message below will come through with line spaces as intended, rather than 'bunched up'.]

Thanks for this set of questions relating to Dr Fauci. Here is a brief attempt to respond:

"What, if anything, can be done to help ensure that future leaders of the USA and other countries will listen to the science?"

IMHO, nothing. That is, political leaders will listen to the science and - as they do for everything - decide what to do according to their personal and political whims. It has ever been thus.

"We have heard previously on HIFA that Dr Fauci has received death threats for promoting scientific evidence. What can be done to increase public awareness of the validity of scientific evidence?"

This is surely the wrong question! The correct question for endangered people like Dr Fauci is something like, What can be done to ensure public figures do not receive death threats for promoting scientific evidence?

As to your question, there is plenty of scientific evidence that people will disregard scientific evidence if their peers do, and especially where there is commercial pressure. says (  “The issue is that when it comes to facts, people think more like lawyers than scientists, which means they 'cherry pick' the facts and studies that back up what they already believe to be true.” And this is usually motivated by the fact that their friends, relatives and workmates ignore the science.

For the commercial “input” to disinformation, even the slightest risk to a product causes its commercial producers to start challenging valid scientific evidence and spewing lies. The University of Bristol’s “The Conversation” has an excellent article on this here:

"Dr Fauci rightly says that 'changing positions or the hypotheses on which they are based is an inherent part of the scientific method'. What can be done to increase public awareness of the fact that scientific evidence evolves?"

This is a good question for HIFA. The “inherent part of the scientific method” to which Fauci refers is what LSE Prof Sir Karl Popper called “falsification”: science advances by offering theories that can be falsified. If a theory can’t be falsified, it’s not science. The other side of that coin is the fact that you can never prove a theory – you can only assert it is true until/unless it is falsified. And if it is falsified, science demands that it should be discarded. It may be time for an article or book to focus on this aspect of science – perhaps HIFA could take a lead?



Chris Zielinski

Blogs: and

Research publications:

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Global Health, University of Winchester, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme, which supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. He is the elected Vice President (and President-in-Waiting) of the World Association of Medical Editors. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. He served on WHO's Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. He also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. Chris has been a director of the UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). chris AT His publications are at and and his blogs are and