Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers turned Covid into a political issue, with Dr. Anthony Fauci often as their focus of contempt.
With that in mind, the University of Michigan is preparing to deal with demonstrators Saturday when Fauci speaks at the "comeback ceremony" for 2020 and 2021 graduates whose commencements were deferred because of the pandemic, Bridge Michigan reports.
The university will take measures to assure a safe ceremony, spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says without giving details. From Bridge:
Ross Barranco of Northville said he organized the protest because Fauci encouraged state leaders to pass mask mandates and some vaccine requirements to combat the virus. He is in need of a kidney transplant from Michigan Medicine, which began requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination on Feb. 1 for candidates on its waitlist.
Barranco refuses to get a vaccine and expects to be removed from the transplant list soon. U-M regent candidate Lena Epstein, who was recently endorsed by Republicans, also is planning to attend the protest.
The Michigan Daily posts background on the prominent campus guest:
As the leading infectious disease expert in the U.S., Fauci has acted as a public health advisor to every president since Ronald Reagan, serving under six different administrations in total. He also currently serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In 2008, Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, for his work in treating HIV/AIDS. Facui last presented at the University in 2017, when he spoke about controlling epidemics at a U-M infectious disease panel.
Fauci currently serves as a liaison between the U.S. government and the American public about the Covid-19 pandemic in addition to his work as a practicing physician and medical researcher.