1) Reality 1: Newly released emails in the first days of the pandemic paint Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as combating, often to the point of utter exhaustion, on the front lines of a virus that even he struggles to grasp the enormity of.

2) Reality two : Newly released emails from the early days of the pandemic show that Fauci was — and is — a profoundly partisan bureaucrat who worked behind the scenes to dismiss concerns about the chance that Covid-19 had emerged after a lab leak in Wuhan, China — among other things.

Allies of former President Donald Trump — by Fox News’ wall-to-wall coverage of the emails to Sen. Rand Paul’s”told you” tweet earlier this week — are very much adherents of Reality 2.

Obviously, a little thing known as”facts” up Fact 1 — also called just plain reality for the vast majority of Americans.

Paul and others are hanging out a whole whole lot on a single email from an executive at EcoHealth Alliance, an international nonprofit that helped fund some study at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, thanking him for stating openly that the scientific evidence indicated the virus had happened naturally rather than from a lab leak

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You can misconstrue it however you want — that email was from a person to me saying’thank you’ for whatever it is he believed I said, and I explained that I think the most likely source is a jump of species. I still do think it is, at the same time as I am keeping an open mind that it could be a lab leak.”

It’s Fauci — not Biden — whom Trump-loving Republicans seem fixated on as they look for a foothold in a national political landscape where they control neither the White House or Congress.

“After seeing the emails, our Country is fortunate I didn’t do what Dr. Fauci wanted me to do,” said Trump in a statement released Thursday. “Dr. Fauci also didn’t put an emphasis on speed of vaccine production because he thought it would take 3, 4, or maybe even 5 years to create. I got it done in less than 9 months with Operation Warp Speed.”

Later, in a second statement, Trump added this: “The correspondence between Dr. Fauci and China speaks too loudly for anyone to ignore. China should pay Ten Trillion Dollars to America, and the World, for the death and destruction they have caused!”

For Trump — and Paul — this is simply a continuation of their regular drumbeat of attacks on Fauci over the past year or so. Trump and his followers — in Congress and out — have long insisted that Fauci is a secret Democrat who got it wrong at every turn of the pandemic. (Fauci, it’s worth noting, has served in his role for Republican and Democratic presidents.)