Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested Thursday that a court did not have the authority to strike down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) mask mandate.
The comments from the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases come after a federal judge, appointed by former President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the mask requirement was “unlawful,” prompting a slew of airlines to drop their mask mandates.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said Monday in her ruling that the mandate “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions.”
“I was both surprised and disappointed,” Fauci said of the court ruling, “because those types of things really are the purview of the CDC. This is a public health issue.”
Dr. Fauci to CNN+ on Judge Mizelle striking down the CDC's mask mandate: "We are concerned about that about the courts getting involved in things that are unequivocally a public health decision…This is a CDC issue, should not have been a court issue…It was perfectly logical." pic.twitter.com/hn19pAV2Vw
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 21, 2022
“If you look at the rationale for that, it really is not particularly firm, and we are concerned about that, about courts getting involved in things that are unequivocally a public health decision,” Fauci continued during a CNN+ interview. “This is a CDC issue, should not have been a court issue.”
Fauci insisted that the CDC’s May 3 end to the mask date should have been honored.
“So, we are hoping that the inevitable increase in cases which we are seeing are not going to be associated with an increase in hospitalizations,” he said. “So, all of these dynamic things going on at the same time, it was perfectly logical for the CDC to say wait a minute, we were planning on ending this mandate on a certain date, let’s wait a period of time until May 3, which was a very sound public health decision.”
His remarks were met with outrage by social media users.
“Is there a time, any time, regarding any power, that it IS appropriate for the checks and balances system we have to check the CDC’s ‘sound public-health decisions,’ according to Fauci,” asked commentator Mary Katherine Ham. “He seems to indicate no. But his personal judgment is not a workable limiting principle.”
“Dr. Fauci really shouldn’t be commenting on issues that are unequivocally statutory authority issues,” tweeted communications consultant Matt Whitlock.
Absolutely insane. Fauci is saying that unelected CDC bureaucrats should be able to impose their will on the country without question or pushback. Just nuts. https://t.co/C3PATKuUXk
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) April 21, 2022
“This is completely dangerous & insane,” tweeted WMAL host Vince Coglianese. “Fauci is declaring the CDC above judicial scrutiny. Dangerous lunacy. It’s long past time for Fauci to go.”
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also sparked a backlash last week when he said that governments use lockdowns to “get people vaccinated” as he discussed China’s heavily restrictive coronavirus lockdowns.
Fauci said that China has a “number of problems,” noting that the country’s strict lockdowns would never be able to be implemented in the United States, “although that prevents the spread of infection.”
“I remember early on they were saying, and I think accurately, that they were doing better than almost anyone else,” Fauci said.
“But lockdown has its consequences,” he continued. “You use lockdowns to get people vaccinated so that when you open up, you won’t have a surge of infections, because you are dealing with an immunologically naïve population, to the virus, because they’ve not really been exposed because of the lockdown.”