Dr Anthony Fauci has admitted there is a lack of evidence to show mask-wearing worked – a far cry from his early-pandemic steadfastness that the mandate was going to curb the spike in Covid cases.
The former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 82, was branded as the nation’s Covid czar because he sternly recommended wearing face coverings and social distancing in public.
As early as April 2020, he told fearful Americans: ‘If everybody does that, we’re each protecting each other. Because the data is, it’s more efficient to prevent transmitting to others than it is to prevent transmission to yourself.’
People had to wear masks in schools, public transport, restaurants, and workplaces.
But following a series of leaked emails and interviews since the height of the pandemic, Fauci has been criticized for flip-flopping in his beliefs as he admitted there is a lack of evidence to suggest they worked in halting the spread of the virus.
Dr Fauci, 82, was known as the nation’s Covid czar – and during the pandemic he sternly recommended wearing face coverings. But he’s been criticized for flip-flopping in his beliefs as he admitted there is a lack of evidence to suggest they worked in halting the spread of the virus
He recently told CNN: ‘When you’re talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong.
‘But there are other studies, that show at an individual level, for individuals, they might be protective.’
The former health chief was responding to questions about a study by Tom Jefferson, a senior associate tutor at the University of Oxford, whose research concluded that ‘there is just no evidence that they – masks – make any difference.
Fauci’s ambiguous words and admission that the data is ‘less strong’ comes as New Yorkers are being told to consider masking up this Labor Day weekend due to concerns about rising Covid cases and two new variants.
A spokesman for NYC’s health department told DailyMail.com that wearing a mask may be a ‘good idea’ in crowded indoor areas this weekend when people are expected to congregate in large groups for the holidays.
But they also expressed that ‘nothing about the guidance has changed’ and that the city currently had no plans to make masks compulsory.
New York City is currently recording a rise in Covid cases and hospital admissions caused by the virus.
The latest data suggests the city’s infection rate is about 18 cases per 100,000 people on August 29 — although this is likely to be an underestimate because so few people are now testing themselves for the virus.
Hospitalizations are also rising, with 502 patients who had Covid admitted to the city’s hospitals on August 31.
Fauci’s ambiguous words and admission that the data is ‘less strong’ comes as New Yorkers are being told to consider masking up this Labor Day weekend due to concerns about rising Covid cases and two new variants
People wear protective masks while walking in front of luxury retail stores on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on May 19, 2020
People had to wear masks on public transport and airplanes during the pandemic
That marks a five percent rise compared to the previous week. However, it is still well below the peak this year of almost 2,000 patients in hospital.
Last summer in an interview with CBS, Fauci said that he had no regrets over his advisory mask wearing mandate in the pandemic.
He said: ‘I don’t regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct.
‘We were told in our task force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs and masks for the health providers who are putting themselves in harm’s way every day to take care of sick people.’
Back in December 2022, Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged that there is a certain ‘fatigue’ about the mandates pertaining to COVID-19 even as cases begin to climb during the winter months.
Speaking with Fox 5 New York, Fauci said that local health authorities should be the ones making calls about COVID restrictions, but he is aware that people ‘don’t like being told what to do.’
‘You would like people to use good judgment to protect themselves and their family,’ he told Good Day New York. But, ‘there is a fatigue about being mandates. People don’t like to be told what to do.’
He added, however, that when there is an uptick in infections, ‘which is followed by an uptick in hospitalizations, you want to make sure you do something to mitigate against that.’
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