May 28, 2020

"How did I meet Larry? He called me a murderer and an incompetent idiot on the front page of the San Francisco Examiner magazine."

Said Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking in a tribute to Larry Kramer, the playwright and AIDS activist, who died yesterday, at the age of 84. The article is "‘We Loved Each Other’: Fauci Recalls Larry Kramer, Friend and Nemesis/In public, the activist berated the infectious disease expert for federal inaction on AIDS. But their affection lasted decades and changed the course of the epidemic" (NYT).
“It was an extraordinary 33-year relationship,” Dr. Fauci said. “We loved each other. We would have dinner. I would go see him in the West Village, he would come down to Washington. But even recently, when he got pissed at me about something, he said to some paper, ‘Fauci’s gone over to the dark side again.’ I called him up and said, ‘Larry? What the….’ And he’d say, ‘Oh, I didn’t really mean it. I just wanted to get some attention.’... He was iconoclastic, he was theatrical — he wanted to make his point.”...

“During the administration of George H.W. Bush, he told me, ‘Tony, you should chain yourself to the gates of the White House,’” Dr. Fauci said. “I said, ‘Larry, how would that help? I can go talk to President Bush any time. He’s a friend.’ He said, ‘You should still do it.’”...

Mr. Kramer’s autobiographical play in 1992, “The Destiny of Me,” includes a character based on Dr. Fauci. “He’s named Anthony Della Vida — Tony Of Life,” Dr. Fauci said. “He told me he wanted the actor who was playing me to come down to Bethesda and go on hospital rounds with me and learn my mannerisms. He made the character a mix of goodness and rigidity.... On opening night... at the reception afterward... he comes up to me sheepishly and says, ‘Do you hate me?’”

37 comments:

rehajm said...

These comments from Fauchi prove to me he's too much of a political actor to be a 'medical expert'.

rehajm said...

A person of science would recognize how such relationships would compromise and corrupt, and would work to avoid such conflicts.

TreeJoe said...

What a perfect character about how someone can be both wonderful, a great friend, and totally advocate for and perform major acts of "protest" that are entirely theater.

Unfortunately those acts of theater paint a picture that everyone else believes.

Fernandinande said...

‘Oh, I didn’t really mean it. I just wanted to get some attention.’

IOW, "activist".

tim maguire said...

Kramer sounds like a typical activist. Ready to lie, cheat, and steal, use anyone, betray anything, to get his way. Completely untrustworthy. A true garbage person.

Limited Perspective said...

Drama Queen

Sebastian said...

"federal inaction on AIDS"

I'd like to see a breakdown of taxes spent on federal "action" per person affected for all diseases since 1980. Hypothesis: AIDS is in the top three.

I'd also like to see a comparison of number and proportion of new cases for different diseases that are caused by continued avoidable behavior of the people affected, after the risk of the behavior was clearly identified. Hypothesis: AIDS is in the top three.

MayBee said...

How could people pack into a theatre to watch a play about AIDS? We don't even have a vaccine for it yet!

Lurker21 said...

Too much information from a guy with too much ego. This is an age of inflated egos, though, so Fauci fits in well. Or is every era an age of inflated egos when it comes to politicians and other movers and shakers?

narciso said...

well fauci was a total tool, if an outbreak is spread by certain behaviours, then you curtail the behavior, you don't let it get into the blood supply, kramer he was the one who was desecrating roman catholic churches because reasons.

Big Mike said...

What a nice story. Coming as it does from Dr. Fauci, the only question is whether it is true.

Temujin said...

I feel a kind of 'meh' about this article. I guess it's good that these two started as opponents who became close friends. But it sure sounds to me like Larry Kramer was nothing if not manipulative. But when your Cause is the thing, I guess manipulation is acceptable. I guess.

I think Tim Maguire put it best: "Kramer sounds like a typical activist. Ready to lie, cheat, and steal, use anyone, betray anything, to get his way. Completely untrustworthy. A true garbage person." I don't know enough about him to call him a true garbage person, but the rest of it seems to fit.

Fauci is a professional. He does his job the best he can, and frankly, he probably does this as well as anyone has. The problem is that everything is so political now. Fauci should have been one of a few key point makers on our decisions about locking down. Instead he became The Key. He and that U of Washington modeler. And we did this. We all made them The Key, if just for a few weeks. It was enough to close up our economy.

But I still think Fauci is a good man, a professional who is competent in his work. Kramer sounds more like he used Fauci to get what he wanted.

Mr Wibble said...

The federal government is guilty of inaction on AIDS.

They should have thrown every infected person in quarantine for the rest of their lives.

James Pawlak said...

Fauci may or may-not be a murderer. However, Gov. Cuomo is such a criminal.

Carol said...

Was Fauci the one promised an AIDS vaccine by 1985? Or was it Robert Gallo. I think all that early hype has been black-holed.

Whatever, I think it humble him some.

Big Mike said...

“Federal inaction on AIDS.”

Yeah. Those scientists didn’t get up off their lazy asses and wave a magic wand to get rid of AIDS. ‘Cause science is just another word for magic, donjya know? But every liberal knows that you invoke the magic by throwing enough money at it. Solves every problem. Just ask any Dumbocrat.

AllenS said...

Fauchi is like the doctor who tells you to quit smoking because of the health risks, then after you leave he lights up a heater.

Big Mike said...

The dating scene for me was in the late 1960s through mid-1970s. By 1975 my dates were with a married woman, on whose hand I had placed a ring. We straights wore condoms when we had sexual with a girlfriend, even though the worst we could get was herpes. And maybe double aught buckshot from an angry father, though by the sixties that was very rare. No, it wasn’t as pleasurable as unprotected coitus, but safety first.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

AIDs is the perfect demonstration of the corruption of science in the service of political agendas. AIDs in the US and Europe was and is a disease that is eminently avoidable by simple precautions taken diligently, but which targets behaviors popular among a politically-favored and politically active segment of the populace. In the rest of the world, AIDs became a disease that spread rampantly through poor populations due to avoidance of prevention measures among a common, politically powerless segment of the populace, thus afflicting many victims who suffered greatly but had no political power to push for treatment or cure.

Because the disease favored politically-popular Westerners, disproportionate government resources were allocated to the investigation of cures. Many more people died of diseases that were ignored in favor of the politically-favored research on AIDs than ever died of AIDs. But because the allocation of resources was politically motivated, no one ever counted the bodies of disease victims who would have had longer lives had resources been allocated rationally.

And yet -- the treatments created with these politically-assigned funds will now benefit the afflicted in the non-Western world. The people who died of other, neglected diseases (we can refer to them as 'opportunity costs') we will never get back. But there is now some small hope for the poor, weak victims of AIDs on non-Western countries.

At least we can look back fondly on recently deceased, over-rated artist/activists who pushed for the corruption of government-funded science, leading to the monolithic funding of climate "science" and other pernicious forms of politically-favored "science". We can issue encomia for our rich, Western activists and feel a shiver of moral superiority that he in some small way advocated for the scientific efforts that will trickle down to the poorest of the poor.

Sally327 said...

I read Randy Shilts' "And the Band Played On" back in the day, when AIDS was this horrible disease that we discovered was in people killing them years before we even knew it existed, and Larry Kramer is featured in that, which is how I first came to know something about him.

I could be wrong about this but I think that this is where it first became a popular attack by those on the left, during the early years of the AIDS crisis, the idea that a (Republican) President is at fault for whatever ails us, at that time, AIDS (and later, Hurricane Katrina for the second Bush presidency and now COVID-19 under Trump), that the President is to blame for not doing enough, soon enough, competently enough. When it came to AIDS, it was all Ronald Reagan's fault and this politicizing of a disease, Larry Kramer was one of the chief architects of that approach. Although I think Ed Koch was his main target, a Democrat as it were.

I don't remember Fauci in Shilts' book although he was maybe in there. For or against closing the bath houses in San Francisco, I'm sure he would have had something helpful to add to that debate. If only wearing masks would have been enough back then, the gay community would have probably adapted to that easily enough.

buwaya said...

Consider the collateral damage of Kramers approach to getting his way.
He could privately tell Fauci that it was a put on.
But he could not do the same for everyone else he was yelling at. Those who approved of Kramer increased their hatred of the innocent volk he spewed bile on, and took on his bile-spewing as part of the suite of symbols that separated them out.

While the volk took the bile as yet another set of beatings from those who claimed to be their betters, and knitted it away in their collective memory, banked it in that reservoir of resentment that has been opening of late.

Both of these audiences absorbed his rage, and added that to their hatred of each other.

Wince said...

“During the administration of George H.W. Bush, [Kramer] told me, ‘Tony, you should chain yourself to the gates of the White House.’”

Heck, Kramer wouldn't even "wear the ribbon".

ga6 said...

Well, now we know that in addition to being an ego maniac auci is a star fucker...

Krumhorn said...

Can it be said too often? Lefties are nasty little shits.

- Krumhorn

Tom T. said...

This is a good reminder that our current level of political discourse did not begin with Trump, nor is there anything unusual about his being treated like the Antichrist.

daskol said...

Reminds me of the Tom Wolfe story about mau-mauing the flak catchers. You have people who mau-mau and you have people who catch flak, and they exist in a symbiotic relationship that Fauci and Kramer took to a genuine friendship. They're all part of the same game. However wrong Fauci may be, and however problematic his behavior--some things require double-blind studies (e.g. hydroxychloroquine) and some things he just advocates on gut (lockdown)--he does seem like a lovely man.

Lurker21 said...

I could be wrong about this but I think that this is where it first became a popular attack by those on the left, during the early years of the AIDS crisis, the idea that a (Republican) President is at fault for whatever ails us, at that time, AIDS

Homelessness also became an issue that got blamed on Reagan, and homelessness "disappeared" from the media when Clinton was elected. I don't know if homelessness or AIDS came first. Nowadays, the release of patients from mental hospitals also gets blamed on Reagan with even less reason than AIDs or homelessness.

Kramer sounds like a typical activist. Ready to lie, cheat, and steal, use anyone, betray anything, to get his way.

It sounds like Kramer was an Alinskian -- much more of a disciple of Saul Alinsky than the politicians whose name has been associated with his - and he had more reason to be. "Alinskian" politicians are usually just doing what politicians always do. Independent social activists can be far more provocative, more sweeping in their accusations, and more radical in their tactics.

Lurker21 said...

You have people who mau-mau and you have people who catch flak, and they exist in a symbiotic relationship that Fauci and Kramer took to a genuine friendship. They're all part of the same game.

In movies about criminals or revolutionaries surfacing decades later, the lawmen hunting them often find that they have more in common with those they are chasing than either does with the rest of society. Like Valjean and Javert.

Very prickly people in public life can have a side of their personality that we don't see that makes them get along with some very unlikely people. And vice versa, I suppose: very nice people can have a dark side.

PM said...

As described in 'Butch Cassidy' by Strother Martin: "I'm colorful."

narciso said...

fumento has the skinny on fauci, who was kramer's enabler, the health commissioner of san francisco, who refused to close the bathhouses, ended up the head of amfar, that's like putting death head ferrer or levine in charge of wuflu response,

narciso said...
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narciso said...
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narciso said...

birds of a feather,


https://www.wnd.com/2020/05/fauci-lied-aids-now-lying-covid-19/

narciso said...

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/scott-whitlock/2020/05/28/nets-celebrate-lefty-activist-who-compared-reagan-hitler-will

ken in tx said...

I only recently heard of the mental hospitals being emptied blamed on Ronald Reagan. Bryce State Mental Hospital in Tuscaloosa, AL, opened their gates around 1973, on the orders of a federal judge. His name was Johnson, not Reagan. The former patients fanned out across the city, living in abandoned houses--from a slum clearance project--using peoples yards and flower beds for toilets, and begging money at the doors of restaurants and stores. That's where the so-called homeless came from in Tuscaloosa. I don't think Reagan had anything to do with it.

DavidUW said...

Well, Kramer was correct in that observation.
If not for the right reasons.

jg said...

sounds like two totally psychologically healthy individuals