Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that he did not believe face masks were going away any time soon, saying that they continued to be an important tool in preventing the spread of coronavirus and should be used regardless of vaccination status.
Fauci made appearances on several of the Sunday morning shows and told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that people should continued to wear masks in conjunction with the vaccines and boosters rather than in place of them.
Karl began by asking Fauci to clarify comments he had made earlier, namely that those who were vaccinated against COVID-19 should “feel comfortable” gathering with family and even traveling over the Christmas holiday this week.
“You said earlier this week that if you are vaccinated, you should feel comfortable traveling and celebrating the holidays with your family. Do you still believe that?” Karl asked.
“No, I do. If you are vaccinated and boosted, and are prudent when you travel, when you are in an airport, to be wearing a mask all the time, you have to be wearing a mask on a plane,” Fauci said, adding, “Do not do things like go to gatherings where there are people who you do not know what their vaccination status is.”
Fauci: people shouldn’t “do things like go to gatherings where there are people who you do not know what their vaccination status is.”
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) December 19, 2021
“If you do that, and some people are even going the extra step or the extra mile, or maybe even getting tested when you have people coming over the house. We now have a much wider availability or point of care test that you can get a result in about 15 minutes. So you might want to do that,” Fauci continued. “If you do these things, Jon, I do believe that you can feel quite comfortable with a family setting, dinners and the gatherings that you have around the holiday season. Nothing is 100% risk-free, but I think if you do the things I just mentioned, you actually mitigate that risk enough to feel comfortable about being able to enjoy the holiday.”
Later in the interview, Karl asked Fauci about Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D), who opted recently not to reimpose a statewide mask mandate even as the omicron variant picked up speed.
“The truth is we have highly effective vaccines that work far better than masks. At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated t it’s your own darn fault. People who want the to be protected, those who get sick, it’s entirely their own fault,” Polis said.
“Do you agree with that? Is this a crisis of the unvaccinated?” Karl pressed.
Fauci agreed that the unvaccinated faced the greatest danger, but offered a caveat: “There are other tools besides the vaccine, and wearing a mask complements the protection that you get from the vaccine, and a boost. So I don’t think you should be in a situation that if you are vaccinated, you don’t ever have to worry about wearing a mask. Vaccinated or unvaccinated under certain circumstances, masks work in diminishing the likelihood that you are going to get infected or that if you are infected and without symptoms, that you’re going to spread it to someone else. So it’s not an either/or. You can do both and should do both.”
Fauci also told Karl that specifically with regard to air travel, he did not foresee a future where masks would not be required in planes.
Q: Do you think we’ll be able to fly without masks again?
Fauci: “No, I don’t think so.” pic.twitter.com/oDBysdW0Rz
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) December 19, 2021
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