History is often the best guide to the future. There is a through line from Galileo Galilei, a 16th-century scientist, to Anthony Fauci, a physician-scientist who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. It goes well beyond their shared Italian heritage.
It is additional evidence that humans in power will do whatever they can to negate anything threatening their staying in control. Dictators do this, and wannabe dictators, of which there seem to be more every decade, quickly adopt the posture.