Anthony Fauci woke up in the middle of the night.
In the dark room, he saw a man sitting in a chair and reached for his masks on the night table.
“It’s all right, Anthony,” the man said. “I know you don’t wear them apart from public occasions.”
“Who the hell are you? How did you get in here?”
“It doesn’t matter, Little Anthony. Would you like a banana?”
“You’re descending the evolutionary ladder. You’re turning into an ape. You’re losing it.”
“The knowledge of freedom, of course, Little Anthony. What it is. How it came to be.”
Fauci stood up, found his bathrobe, put it on, and sat on the edge of his bed looking at the man in the chair.
Recently, Anthony, you expressed annoyance at people questioning you about liberty. You said liberty was not the issue. The issue was public safety and health.
Well, it is. Safety. Freedom from lockdowns is CONDITIONAL. WE, the professionals, decide…
Are you sure you don’t want a banana, Anthony? Maybe a nice peach. They’re coming into season. I think I have a bag of peanuts in my car.
Stop that with the fruit. No one can be free until the virus is under control.
Anthony, remember John Adams? “There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
That was in the 18th century. We didn’t have a PCR test then.
How about a bag of grapes or a melon? Adams also wrote, “…mighty struggles and numberless sacrifices made by our ancestors in defense of freedom.” Anthony, you toss aside freedom with a casual shrug—you have no knowledge of the ten thousand years of war fought to achieve even the BEGINNING of liberty—spilled blood, courage…
I’m a scientist.
And that excuses you? Little Anthony, little ape, there is a line that can’t be crossed. You can’t take away people’s Constitutional freedom FOR ANY REASON. You can’t take it away because of floods, earthquakes, volcanos, war, disease, terror attacks.
We did. We did take it away. We imprisoned millions in their homes.
Yes. And you have great confidence as you swing from branch to branch in the trees. But freedom and liberty are on the move again.
I know which side I’m betting on.
You’ve always been on the side of power for its own sake, Little Anthony. Hubris. It delivers blowback.
I don’t think so. America is a nation of cowards and fools. They’re more than willing to surrender what’s left of their so-called liberty.
The ghosts are gathering, Anthony. They’re coming back. The souls who fought for what you want to take away. “Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” —Consent of the governed. The people give it, and they can remove it.
Nonsense. We’re locked into a system.
You would believe that, because you’re so shortsighted. You believe you can call Liberty counterfeit money and take it out of circulation. The Jesuits at Regis High School and Holy Cross College taught you well. Strategy, advantage, deception. You traded your soul for underground skills. And now you’re gradually slipping back into the monarchy of apes.
I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Of course you do. Your old teachers would be disappointed in you, Anthony. You’ve been contradicting yourself in public—about masks, the test, the vaccine. The Jesuits taught you Aristotle. You’ve been violating his logic.
I’m the preferred authority. That’s the overriding factor.
Among the other apes. But among humans, rebellion arrives.
This is always the gamble, isn’t it? I’m shoving in all my chips on slavery.
As I said, Anthony, we spirits are coming back. We don’t like what we’re seeing. We can still disturb the sleepers.
I doubt it.
I woke you from your dream of ape glory.
By the way, have you been tested?
I’m immune. To you.
Even if you have no symptoms and are completely healthy, you could be a COVID-19 case.
Remember, Little Anthony, when you said asymptomatic people never ever drive an epidemic through transmission of a virus?
Well, it turns out I misspoke then.
You mean you let the cat out of the bag. Remember when you said masks are useless? And then you said everyone should wear one, then two, then three, and now one again? Remember when you said the PCR test, when performed at high sensitivity, turns out meaningless results—but neglected to mention that all laboratories do in fact perform the test at high sensitivity? Remember when you said the vaccine was the light at the end of the tunnel? And now you’re saying people have to wear masks after they’re vaccinated, and they have avoid large gatherings?
The people don’t understand these issues. They just accept what I tell them to accept.
You’re doing evil things, Anthony. And like all major criminals, you redefine freedom in the process. You make it into a protection racket.
Well that’s what it is. What else do people want?
You’re living proof that devolution of the species is possible. The land crawlers go back into the sea. The many-celled organism retreats into a single cell. The human opts for apehood.
I want to go back to sleep now. I have to give a speech in the morning.
I could take you on a tour of your past crimes, Anthony. It would be a long trip. But I’ll just let those crimes nag at you. Not because you feel guilt. You know your devious actions were necessary to maintain the structure you’re standing on. And the structure, although it looks firm, is unbalanced. The architecture is all wrong. That’s what keeps you up at night.
Nothing is perfect. Every position carries risks. Only the daring succeed.
You’re an ape with homilies.
The virus has many strains and mutations.
There is no virus, Anthony. You know it. I know it. There is a STORY about a virus. Your ape masters have appointed you salesman of the story. You’re a cheap hustler selling a used car.
I’m the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Presidential coronavirus advisor.
Funny thing, Anthony. I called over there, to NIAID and the White House, and they said they’d never heard of you. I asked several people.
Don’t be ridiculous.
I’m serious. One person said, after a search, that a research lab connected to NIAID has a monkey in a cage in a lab. They call him “Fauci,” but no one seems to know why.
—For the second time that night, Fauci woke up in bed. He suppressed a howl and grabbed his phone and pressed a name.
A sleepy voice answered. “Who the f—k is this?”
“Hillary, it’s me, Tony. Tell me I’m the head of NIAID. I’m Biden’s coronavirus advisor. Please.”
“Jesus, Tony, having that dream again? Yes, you’re all that. You’re a big shot. We all love you blah-blah. You’re good-looking, sexy, a goddamn matinee idol. Now f—k off and go back to sleep before I have Bill put you in the psych ward at Walter Reed.”
“Bill wouldn’t do that to me.”
“Not my husband, you idiot. Bill Gates.”
“Shit, don’t tell BILL. Please.”
“You’re our boy. Now go back to sleep.”
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