You may have seen the 2% rating from viewers on the popular ratings aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, for National Geographic’s most recent Disney+ release, Fauci. Normally I don’t make a habit out of checking reviews before I screen a movie or show myself so that my opinion isn’t influenced by outside ideas but in this case, I never would have screened this documentary if not for seeing the 2% score.
With a score that lows from my fellow viewers, I went in knowing it was going to be rough. But how bad exactly was it?
I am breaking with the normal format of the Conservative Critic which asks: Is it entertaining? Does it have intellectual/artistic value? And Is it liberal propaganda? Fauci transcends the norms of “bad filmmaking” and enters into a hemisphere of Government propaganda. You don’t need my meters to tell you that this film was bad. It was so bad.
Instead, I will be breaking down each element of why it made me sick to my stomach.
The existence of footage from 2020
The very existence of the documentary footage in and of itself is an offense to the American people. There is footage as early as May of 2020 where Fauci is on a phone call on speaker insinuating that President Trump is doing the wrong thing and he is the savior of the world.
Dr. Fauci did not rise to prominence in the COVID-19 episode until March of 2020 when the nation shut down. So the viewer is supposed to reconcile that somehow the moviemakers at Discovery’s first thought as the world shut down and life as we knew it was forever gone was “hey a fluff biopic on Fauci would make a great next feature for us.”
And then the viewer must also reconcile that Fauci at the time of the footage was telling Americans that the pandemic had no end in sight and it was only getting worse and essentially the end is near but thought it was appropriate to have his rear end kissed by a bunch of filmmakers telling his “heroic” tale.
How can a rational American view this documentary, know what Fauci was telling the public and what we all went through, and accept that the very existence of the film is not in and of itself nefarious? Is Fauci’s hubris just so monumental he didn’t see that this action would be in poor taste? Or worse – did Discovery know before we did that the pandemic politics were going to spiral out of control?
The “me too” issues with Fauci’s courtship of his wife
Fauci met his wife when she was a subordinate at NIH. They both recount the story of his asking her on a date as him calling her into his office with enough sternness and authority that she believed she was going to be reprimanded or fired for a prior transgression but when she entered the office – alone – he propositioned her for a date.
They are still together so it all worked out but I don’t really think its appropriate for a boss in his office to demand an employee see him there and then ask her on a date. I am 100% positive that if this story was the story of Donald and Melania it would have been framed a lot differently.
The total rewrite of history
The documentary absolved Fauci for all of his objective failures during the AIDS pandemic by bringing a former activist on to say it’s water under the bridge. The reality is that Fauci prioritized certain research which would yield more “scientifically sound” results but which sacrificed human life in the thousands. Similar to his disdain for experimental drug use in COVID-19 (such as Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin), Fauci refused to expedite research or consider the value of drugs that clinical physicians were using on the front lines to save lives during the AIDs pandemic. He did this in the name of the sanctity of his findings not in the name of safety.
The movie portrayed Fauci as a misunderstood hero being unfairly protested instead of a wonk with too much power and no regard for the broader picture outside of his particular field of science.
Further the film really whitewashed the history of the AIDs pandemic featuring essentially no coverage of the people of color who were disparately impacted by Fauci when he denied them the ability to experiment with treatment with their doctors and when he falsely claimed that the FDA approved drugs were a danger to their lives.
The pity party
The film painted poor baby Fauci as a victim because he got scary phone calls and his family felt harassed. Obviously I do not condone anyone threatening some tiny science man because the world has gone to crap (it takes more than one tiny science man) but actually, people lost everything including lives because of Fauci’s advice and Fauci’s leadership all from his ivory tower or wealth and protection. Fauci is followed around by the Secret Service to make sure no one threatens his life and wellbeing but advises that people are either forced to take medical treatment they don’t want or lose their jobs. I didn’t hear a single ounce of pity come from Fauci for the people who had the police called on them because they operated businesses out of their homes or had people over to their house.
Things got personal for poor lil Fauci but I guess it didn’t matter how personal things were to the people his policies oppressed.
A lot of the documentary was focused on painting President Trump as a bad spirited wing bag even though Dr. Fauci was just as bad spirited. But instead of seeing his own contributions to the confusing rhetoric he is able to be framed as the poor hero fighting against the bad man.
Even when he admitted on screen that President Trump never penalized him for publicly contradicting and mocking the President at press conferences, he admitted it as a way of continuing to mock the President as if his decorum and fairness in allowing Fauci his own mind was somehow a weakness.
Fauci and the liberals behind this documentary seem to have no comprehension that a true leader takes into consideration far more than one narrow focus when making broad policy decisions. Public health specific to one virus is not the only factor in decision making. The economy does matter. Health in other factors does matter. Fauci only knows how to do one thing and his uncontainable hubris disallows him from understanding that his one thing isn’t the only thing that matters when governing the
formerly free world.
We already knew this about Fauci – but the film highlighted it with such insipid enthusiasm it was like watching a dog eat its own vomit.
Never does the film acknowledge the valid grievances that many who have protested Fauci – from AIDs to COVID – have expressed. His recommendations were taken at face value by liberal lawmakers and they ruined people’s lives whether he thinks it was for the greater good or not. The film made no attempt at an objective point of view or even a minor counter point of view.
Even as the issue of Fauci lying to the American public about the efficacy of masks was raised he was still allowed to be totally absolved as the poor scientist who just was going off facts.
The truth is there was a PPE shortage in America and he gave false information to the public in order to preserve supplies. Even if he thought that was a moral mission, it was still objectively a lie. Either that was a lie or the current mask mandate is a lie. There is no getting around it.
I had a physical reaction to this film and under no circumstances should you view it unless you enjoy being sickened and angry. It is as bad as you think times a million. Your government does not respect you, the movie.