Fauci Can’t Name One Study To Support Child Masking Before Pandemic
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, attends an event with First Lady Jill Biden to urge Americans to get vaccinated ahead of the holiday season, during a COVID-19 virtual event with AARP in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, December 9, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the former chief medical advisor to the president, could not recall a scientific study supporting the masking of children prior to the widespread masking of children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci is the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and was influential in the U.S. response to COVID-19, first advising former president Donald Trump, then President Joe Biden. Republicans have grown increasingly critical of Fauci for misleading the American people over the risks of COVID-19 and other issues.

The former top health official testified on the U.S. response to COVID-19 in a closed-door meeting with members of the select subcommittee on the COVID-19 pandemic in January. The Committee on Oversight and Accountability, which oversees the subcommittee’s work, released transcripts of Fauci’s testimony on Friday. Fauci is expected to return to Capitol Hill on Monday to testify publicly in front of Congress.

During the closed-door testimony in January, Republicans asked Fauci about the scientific support for masking children before masking policies were adopted widely during the pandemic. Fauci, though he hedged his answer, failed to provide a specific example of a study he viewed supporting child masking. He suggested that he may not have looked at any data at all.

“Do you recall reviewing any studies or data supporting masking for children?” GOP counsel asked, according to the transcript.

Fauci responded, “You know, I might have, Mitch, but I don’t recall specifically that I did. I might have.”

WATCH FREE EPISODE NOW: Fauci Unmasked: The Trial Run

The counsel then pointed to studies and data from the pandemic that suggest masking harmed child development and education.

“There’s been a lot of studies that have come out since the pandemic started, but specifically on this there have been significant on, kind of like the learning loss and speech and development issues that have been associated with particularly young children wearing masks while they’re growing up. They can’t see their teacher talk and can’t learn how to form words. Have you followed any of those studies?” the counsel asked.

“No,” Fauci answered. He went on to say he believes the scientific data on child masking is still mixed.

“I believe that there are a lot of conflicting studies too, that there are those that say, yes, there is an impact, and there are those that say there’s not. I still think that’s up in the air,” he said. “I mean, I’m very sensitive to children. I have children and I have grandchildren. So, I don’t want to have anything that would do to harm them [sic]. But I think that there was a conflicting discussion about the negative impact on speech and formation of the bones of the face, and that I think was debunked pretty easily.”

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