Mark Sidney| ‘The law of the instrument, law of the hammer, Maslow’s hammer (or gavel), or golden hammer is a cognitive bias that involves an over-reliance on a familiar tool. As Abraham Maslow said in 1966, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail,’ Wikipedia explains.
Before I disclose the statements that Dr. Fauci made to a group of students at Georgetown University Medical Center back in January 2017, I want to make it clear that I am not implying that Fauci knew about the current ‘situation’ in advance or did anything nefarious to instigate it.
I, and many others, just found his warning to be very interesting, and to be frank, seemingly accurate. For this reason, and this reason alone, I thought you may want to know exactly what the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
During his lecture to the students of Georgetown, Dr. Fauci stated:
“If there’s one message that I want to leave with you today based on my experience, is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases.”
“The history of the last 32 years that I’ve been the director of NIAID will tell the next administration that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that they will be faced with the challenges that their predecessors were faced with.”
“We will definitely get surprised in the next few years.”
That statement struck me as odd seeing as, most of the time, the definitions of ‘definitely’ and ‘surprised’ seem to be at odds with one another.
The doctor’s comments came as part of a keynote address he delivered during a “Pandemic Preparedness in the Next U.S. Presidential Administration,” event which featured some of the world’s foremost minds in the arena of global health.
Another leader in the field, Dr. Ashish Jha, who is the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, stated “If you think about all the things that could very quickly devastate a population, devastate a country, pandemics is really near if not at the top of that list,”
If we look at history, it is not unreasonable for Fauci to expect some sort of health crisis, or hysteria surrounding a possible health crisis, to engulf the nation.
Take for instance the Zika outbreak that occurred during the Obama administration, or the Ebola scare. Then, there was also H5N1. Outbreaks are always occurring throughout the world, and some inevitably make their way into the United States.
“We need [a public health emergency fund] because of what we had to go through for Zika,” Dr. Fauci stated. Alluding to the mosquito-borne infection that had mothers worried about contracting Zika and it resulting in birth defects in their babies.
Fauci expressed his concern for how long it took to get the $1.9 BILLION in funding Obama asked for to fight Zika, explaining;
“I mean, it was very, very painful when the president asked for the $1.9 billion in February and we didn’t get it until September. That was a very painful process.”
According to CDC.gov, in 2016, the year of the Zika scare: 5,168 symptomatic Zika virus disease cases reported within the United States. However, there were 36,512 symptomatic Zika virus disease cases reported in US territories.
The, now famous Fauci, went on “There is outbreaks that are very profound, acute and dramatic — like Ebola, like what we’ve seen with Zika.”
“And then there are outbreaks that may be really subtle. They’re happening and you’re not necessarily noticing them.”
You can watch Fauci’s address in full below:
I suppose that it was not a long shot to expect that there would be some sort of biological incident during Trump’s tenure. However, I do not think anyone could have foreseen something that caused such a global and economically crippling response, do you?