© AP Photo/Andrew HarnikDr. Anthony Fauci listens during a meeting with the White House COVID-19 Response Team on the latest developments related to the Omicron variant White House Campus in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
On my very first day in medical school, the dean gave a lecture on serendipity and scientific discovery, highlighting Penicillin as the most famous example of a scientist stumbling upon a discovery he hadn't originally intended to make.

Serendipity requires an environment with the freedom to think outside the box and to innovate without excessive central control. When science is made rigidly uniform by placing power in 'omniscient men,' the fortuitous finds of individual scientists may be left undiscovered.

The classical liberal economist Friedrich Hayek foresaw this debate when he wrote:
"Most scientists realize that we cannot plan the advance of knowledge, that in the voyage into the unknown — which is what research is — we are in great measure dependent on the vagaries of individual genius and of circumstance, and that scientific advance, like a new idea that will spring up in a single mind, will be the result of a combination of conceptions, habits, and circumstances brought to one person by society, the result as much of lucky accidents as of systematic effort."

In other words, the benefits of scientific progress are only realized if science is free from excessive restraint.

The same arguments against central planning for an economy also hold for science. If, or rather when, the central planner errs the entire economy is threatened. Likewise, when a central medical planner errs, all patients are threatened.

Anthony Fauci's fundamental decision to ignore natural immunity has led to a cascade of bad decisions, the effects of which have seeped into all of our lives. Ignoring the immunity that comes naturally with infection caused Fauci to underestimate the combined immunity in our country from vaccination and previous infection, leading him to advocate forced vaccination on everyone including those at very low risk, such as children and previously infected individuals.

The facts are quite the opposite of Fauci's contentions. More than 90 percent of everyone between the ages of 50 and 64 has voluntarily been vaccinated. More than 97 percent of people 65 and over have been vaccinated. There is no factual lack of vaccinations that could conceivably argue for mandating COVID vaccines on children.

If Fauci was simply one family doctor in Peoria, his mistakes would not be so catastrophic. But since Fauci's status approximates that of a medical czar, his errors are amplified throughout the land.

When Fauci misinforms the public that cloth masks work, he risks the health of anyone who believes a cloth mask will protect them when caring for a spouse or relative with COVID.

When Fauci creates algorithms that prohibit monoclonal antibodies from being given to hospital patients, he consigns those most at risk to struggle for recovery without one of our most effective treatments.

When Fauci decides that he alone will define and fund dangerous 'gain-of-function' research, his disregard for the possibility of a lab leak is felt worldwide.

Arguments for the dispersion of power are essentially arguments for limiting the damage that one man's fallibility can create. We should oppose the concentration of power in any one person's hand not simply because they might have bad intent but because all men are fallible.

My father often said that liberty brings people together because it respects others' opinions and a truly free society doesn't allow for anyone to inflict their opinion on others.

Contrast the arrogance of so-called experts who argue that newborns must be forcibly vaccinated with the opinion that children are at such low risk from COVID that vaccines aren't advisable. The opinion not to vaccinate children for COVID can be accepted or not. It is merely a suggestion that can be accepted or rejected by parents. But the mandate that a newborn be vaccinated decimates parental choice. When parental rights are squelched by mandates, rather than bringing people together to fight COVID, a wedge is formed and anger leads us to fight each other.

This rift is the fundamental contrast between the collectivism of Fauci and those who wish to be left alone. While those of us who wish to be left alone are not intent on making anyone accept our beliefs, the central planners and advocates of the mandates won't be content unless they can inflict their beliefs on everyone.

The debate over vaccine mandates is a war between individuals who wish to be free to choose their own medical regimen and collectivists who will not be content until everyone is made to submit to the diktats of the government planners.

Let's hope Americans will, once again, rally to the cause of freedom and reject medical tyranny and allow each individual to live their life as their own conscience dictates.