Fauci Again Urges Americans To Wear Masks Indoors In Group Settings
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, who recently contracted COVID-19, warned of Americans’ “waning immunity” from the virus and said they should be impelled to wear masks when in indoor group settings.

Fauci tested positive for the virus in mid-June; he reportedly took the antiviral pill Paxlovid as part of his recovery but in late June announced his symptoms had returned.

Appearing on MSNBC on Tuesday, Fauci warned of the new variant BA.5. asserting, “It’s something we absolutely need to take seriously. It has a transmission advantage over the prior variants that were dominant.”

“The dominant variant was first BA.1, then BA.2, then BA.2.1 and on and on and then you get to BA.4-5, and particularly BA.5, which clearly has a transmission advantage, which is one of the reasons why we’re seeing throughout several regions of the country, including, in particular, the New York area, you’re starting to see cases go up,” Fauci declared.

“So it needs to be taken seriously; everybody wants to put this pandemic behind us and feel and hope that it doesn’t exist. It does,” he said.

Then he turned to various ways the effects of the virus could be ameliorated: “However, the good news is that we have the capability and the tools to address it and we just need to utilize those tools. For example, getting vaccinated if you’re not primarily vaccinated; if you’re due for a booster, use a booster, and when you’re in an area where you have a high dynamic of infection, and we’re not talking about mandating anything, but we’re saying recommending people when they are in indoor congregate settings to wear a mask.”

“Those are simple, doable things that can help prevent us from having even more of a problem than we’re having right now,” he concluded.

According to federal data, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants comprise roughly 80% coronavirus currently circulating in the U.S., The Washington Post noted.

David Montefiori, a professor at the Human Vaccine Institute at Duke University Medical Center, stated that BA.4 and BA.5 are roughly three times more resistant to neutralizing antibodies from COVID vaccines than BA.1 was. BA.4 and BA.5 have been found to be four times less sensitive to antibodies from vaccines than BA.2.

“The virus is running freely,” the World Health Organization stated.

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