Fauci Rapped For Playing into 'Anti-Semitic Stereotypes', Blaming Measles Outbreak on Hasidic Jews
Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, offered a spate of interviews at the start of the week, predicting Americans could emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic to embrace “some degree of normality” by next spring, urging them to do their part by getting vaccinated.
Anthony Fauci has found himself under fire for blithely appearing to blame the Hasidic Jewish community in New York for the measles outbreak in 2018-2019.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical adviser
to President Joe Biden was expounding on herd immunity in the case of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
when he made the offhand remarks in an interview on CBS This Morning.
"The threshold is something that we don't know… you have to get to a situation like with measles, where you were like, way, 90-plus percent of people were vaccinated and really got that kind of, what we call, herd immunity… When it gets below that number, you start to see outbreaks, like we saw some time ago in the New York City area with Hasidic Jewish people who were not getting vaccinated," said Fauci.
The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) was quick to take offence at the remark.
"Dr. Fauci said in the CBS appearance that herd immunity for measles is 90% - 95% and then he incorrectly blamed Hasidim of N.Y. for the 2018-2019 outbreak despite the fact that it started in other states and it infected non-Hasidim," OJPAC was cited by Fox News as saying in a statement.
The OJPAC added that Fauci appeared to be unaware that only 80% Hasidim in New York were age-eligible for full vaccination against measles. Accordingly, Hasidim are more vulnerable to the highly contagious disease due to age, not “vaccine hesitancy."
"In fact, 96% school-aged children were fully vaccinated but there is just such a large portion of the population in the age group not eligible for partial or full vaccination. This factor, plus the fact that measles mostly attacks the young, means that Hasidim can suffer more during an outbreak despite following vaccination mandates at a very high rate," the statement concluded.
Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, was also riled by how quick Fauci was to “point fingers”. Menken believed that saying New York Hasidim didn’t vaccinate was “categorically false”. Furthermore, it “plays right into the stereotype of the cancerous, parasitic, dirty Jew during a time of heightened anti-Semitism", said the Orthodox Rabbi.
New York-area rabbi Yisroael Kahan, member of the Rockland County Human Rights Commission, deplored the fact that blame was piled on the Jews despite facts stating the opposite. He went on Twitter to cite figures from the New York State Department of Health showing that the vaccination rate at Jewish schools in Brooklyn was 96%.
There has not yet been any official comment from Fauci or the NIAID.
In interviews on Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated that Americans could hope to return to “some degree of normality” by next spring, while urging them to “do their part” by getting vaccinated
Voicing hope that the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech might boost vaccinations, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert said on CNN that “this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant which could complicate things. So it's within our power to get this under control.”
Currently over 171 million Americans — 51.5% of the population — are fully vaccinated, with more than 201 million having received at least one shot. That leaves about 82 million jab-eligible people who are yet to be even partially inoculated.