ASV Council Statement on evidence-based science and expert leadership
There is not a time in recent history that the world has not faced one microbial threat or another. In the recent past, viruses have taken center stage. A few of the most prominent include human immunodeficiency viruses, West Nile virus, the "first" severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, influenza viruses, Ebola virus, and most recently SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19). The threats posed by any of these viruses during those outbreaks seemed insurmountable as we were learning in real time. What hindsight clearly shows us is that we can outpace any virus when we let our virology, infectious-disease, and public-health experts lead the way unabated. It is vital that we address these threats with evidence-based science and expert leadership.
Over his 38 years at the helm of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony S. Fauci, MD has proven himself to be among America’s most experienced infectious-disease experts. During the past few years, Dr. Fauci’s scientific expertise and actions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenged or questioned, particularly by groups with little to no expertise in infectious diseases. The elected Council of the American Society for Virology is compelled to voice our opinion that politicization of a public-health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic can only worsen outcomes. We object to attempts to cast doubt on the science or to fuel mistrust in Dr. Fauci, or the scientific enterprise responding to this pandemic challenge. We also provide our unequivocal endorsement of Dr. Fauci, and we implore the leaders of our nation to recognize the scientists and science who have driven a national response to COVID-19 that is based on evidence. Efforts to discredit or undermine scientific leaders place the health of every American at risk, compromise efforts to mitigate transmission, and our ability to prepare for and respond to future pandemic threats.
Updated December 15, 2022