Open Letter From JAMA Editor Bauchner

CHICAGO (July 14, 2020) – Over the weekend a close friend asked if anyone was going to defend Dr. Anthony Fauci. My initial response was that Tony does not need my help, he is quite good about staying on message and surviving the political ups and downs. But on reflection I was wrong.

The whisperings, innuendos, and attacks from the White House and others about Tony – on and off the record – are not only unseemly and unfair, but reveal a lack of commitment to the health and well-being of all Americans, and ultimately will be counterproductive and potentially destructive.

As we have learned the coronavirus does not respect states lines – Maine or Alabama, or political parties – Republican or Democrat. The undermining of science – and the unprecedented attacks on scientists and public health officials – risk lives in every corner of our country.

Tony has dedicated more than 40 years of his life to public service – he has been steadfast in his commitment to improve and preserve the health and public health of this country using science and evidence as his guide. He has one goal – to restore America to some semblance of health so that it can once again be a functioning society – with schools open, unrestricted travel, social engagement, and businesses thriving. He deserves our deepest gratitude and support.

So to all who are reading this – wherever you live and whatever your political affiliation – please wash your hands, keep your distance from others when appropriate, wear your masks, and please join me in showing respect for Dr. Anthony Fauci and his many colleagues at the NIH, CDC, and throughout the country who are our best hope in these challenging times.

And to all, please stay healthy.

Howard Bauchner, M.D.