BIO expresses support for Fauci, blasts attacks on science

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BIO President and CEO Michelle McMurry-Heath has put the organization on record as supporting Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and called in a statement for an end to politically motivated attacks on science.

The statement is a departure for BIO -- in recent years it has avoided commenting on political controversies that do not directly affect the commercial interests of its members -- and a sign of the direction McMurry-Heath is taking the organization.

“Nothing is more disheartening or disturbing than to see Dr. Anthony Fauci, a critical leader at a pivotal moment, maligned publicly and attacked personally,” McMurry-Heath stated.

The statement comes after Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, publicly attacked Fauci, and other Trump administration officials have privately made similar remarks.

The attacks are “not just about Dr. Fauci,” according to McMurry-Heath.

Witnessing “our leaders disrespect one of the world’s most respected scientists” damages the morale of the tens of thousands of scientists who are working to tame COVID-19, she said. The campaign against Fauci “discourages and distracts them from the critically important task at hand. And it erodes the public trust in the cures we are getting closer to everyday. Some of these solutions of tomorrow will only work if we adopt them quickly and uniformly. Anything that slows public understanding of science will, needlessly, cost more lives.”

There is a pressing need for “sound science, not rhetoric,” McMurry-Heath stated. “We need unity to crack the code of COVID, not division.”

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