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- Anthony Fauci didn’t write this.
- A Facebook user named Amy Wright has taken credit for the words.
A lengthy Facebook post about viruses skips from chickenpox to herpes to HIV and, finally to the coronavirus. It’s attributed to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and ends with an uncharacteristic scolding.
"For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want to ask, without hyperbole and in all sincerity: How dare you?" the statement says. It goes on to encourage doing everything we can to mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, to flatten the curve and avoid unnecessary suffering and death.
"I reject the notion that it’s ‘just a virus’ and we’ll all get it eventually," the post concludes. "What a careless, lazy heartless stance."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) The words themselves are an opinion and not something we at PolitiFact fact-check.
But the attribution to Fauci is wrong and worth correcting. In a statement, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told PolitiFact that Fauci wasn’t the author of the post.
In the comments of another Facebook post with virtually the same words published July 14 — several days before the one we’re fact-checking — a user named Amy Wright takes credit for the statement.
"I just saw your words credited to Dr. Fauci," another user wrote. "How about that! People are still sharing your post and learning. Thank you."
"Oh dear," Wright replied. The internet is like the wild west sometimes, isn’t it? At least no one attributed it to Abraham Lincoln."
We rate the claim that Fauci wrote this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, July 17, 2020
Facebook post, July 14, 2020
Statement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, July 24, 2020
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