Two months ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) took Dr. Anthony Fauci to task for continuing to insist Americans wear a mask even if they have been fully vaccinated. At the time, Fauci disagreed with Paul’s assertion that continuing to wear a mask once someone has been infected with the coronavirus or fully vaccinated was simply political “theater.”
Now Fauci has flip-flopped yet again on masks, admitting on “Good Morning America” that it was merely political theater for him to wear a mask even after he’s been fully vaccinated.
“Before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals but being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low,” Fauci told host George Stephanopoulos.
Fauci’s comments come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly updated its mask policy for vaccinated people following a particularly bad media week for the Biden administration. As The Daily Wire’s Mairead McArdle reported, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended her agency in a tough interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace, who pointed out the policy change occurred within 24 hours of the CDC telling people to continue to wear masks indoors even when vaccinated.
“On Wednesday night, you were still arguing, still making the case that people who are fully vaccinated needed to wear masks indoors,” Wallace said to Walensky. “And then Thursday, less than 24 hours later, you said, no, it changed, now you don’t need masks if you’re fully vaccinated either indoors or outdoors. Would you agree that this abrupt shift was not handled as well as it might have been?”
Walensky responded by saying the decision was based on “evolving data on the science.”
Fauci’s own statements on masks have continuously changed throughout the pandemic, as The Daily Wire’s Joseph Curl summarized:
First Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top immunologist, said Americans didn’t need to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Then he said wear a mask. Then he said wear two masks. And he also insisted that everyone should wear a mask everywhere — even outdoors, and even if they’re vaccinated.
Fauci began making mask statements at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, when he said people didn’t need “to be walking around with a mask.” Of course, back then, the World Health Organization (WHO) was telling people the coronavirus spread mostly on surfaces.
“When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is,” Fauci said at the time.
He later backtracked on that statement, saying he made it because he was worried about a shortage of protective equipment for frontline workers and that everyone should wear a mask.
In February of 2020, however, Fauci suggested people should wear two masks if they want better protection. “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on it, just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci told NBC News.
In March, Fauci wanted people to wear a mask even outdoors and even if they had been fully vaccinated. He is now, yet again, saying something different.