Dr. Anthony Fauci advised during a Monday interview that mandatory mask-wearing should continue until enough people have been vaccinated and COVID-19 is under control, which he warned will likely not be anytime soon.
“Is there going to be a time when we are going to be, no masks?” Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Fauci. “When is that time? If you had to guess, going to a sports game, going to a theater, going to a concert without a mask?”
“That will really be dependent upon how we get the level of virus in the community down,” Fauci answered. “If we can get — and I have used this as an estimate, it’s not definitive — but if we can get 70 to 85 percent of the population vaccinated, and get to what we would hope would be to a degree of herd immunity, which really is an umbrella or a veil of protection against the community, where the level of virus is so low it’s not a threat at all, then at that point, you can start thinking in terms of not having to have uniform wearing of masks.”
“If everything falls into the right place and we get this under control, it is conceivable that you might be able to pull back a bit on some of the public health measures as we get into the late fall of this year,” he continued. “But there’s no guarantee of that, because if we don’t get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, there’s still going be a considerable amount of virus in the community, and as long as that’s the case, people are going to have to wear masks.”
Dr. Fauci moving those goalposts again:
Masks can come off when the virus "is not a threat at all."
Timeframe is now late fall IF everything goes perfectly.
Or, we could just say to hell with what these "experts" think. When are they ever right? pic.twitter.com/ODt9aMEfug
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) February 8, 2021
Fauci, who said at the beginning of the pandemic there is “no reason to be walking around with a mask,” has repeatedly shifted his message on masks. “Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks,” he said last spring. “Right now, people should not be walking around — there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. 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. It’s not providing the perfect protection that people think it is.”
Fauci has since become a major proponent of wearing masks, and has recently taken to expressing support for wearing two masks at once. As The Daily Wire reported:
Dr. Anthony Fauci says it’s “possible” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could recommend wearing two masks to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Fauci has previously suggested wearing two masks was preferable to one – although he later walked that back a bit. But in an appearance on The Washington Post Live on Tuesday, Fauci was asked if the CDC would issue guidance for all Americans to wear two masks.
“That’s possible,” said Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force and is now President Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19.
“In fact, in discussions with my CDC colleagues yesterday, we were talking about how the CDC is looking at doing a study of seeing whether or not two masks are better than one. It makes common sense you would think,” he said. “If one mask serves as a physical barrier, if you put two on – if you’re looking for enhancing the physical barrier – it makes common sense that it certainly can’t hurt and might help.”