Former White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci responded dismissively on Saturday to a study that found masks don't work to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"When you're talking about the effect [of masks] on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong," Fauci told CNN's Michael Smerconish after the host referenced a study that determined there's "no evidence" mask-wearing has any effect. "But when you talk about as an individual basis of someone protecting themselves or protecting themselves from spreading it to others, there's no doubt that there are many studies that show that there is an advantage."
Smerconish confronted Fauci with a study the Cochrane Library published in January, which, in reviewing 78 randomized control trials, found that mask-wearing "probably makes little or no difference" in stopping the transmission of COVID-19.
"But there are other studies, Michael," Fauci said, "that show at an individual level, for individual [sic]."
Fauci repeatedly endorsed mask mandates during the pandemic, often warning against lifting them even as case numbers were falling. In February 2022, he said officials should be "careful" not to end restrictions "prematurely," also calling for children in schools to "still be masked." Two months later, he called a judge's decision to overrule the Biden administration's mask mandate on planes and public transit a "dangerous precedent."
Fauci, the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has lately attempted to rewrite the history of his actions during the pandemic. In an April interview, he acknowledged that vaccine mandates may have had a detrimental effect because Americans may feel resentment at being forced to take the shot. In October 2021, he said that "as sensitive an issue" as vaccine mandates are, they do get "people more vaccinated."
He also claimed that he "never criticized the people who had to make the decisions [on whether to lock down] one way or the other," but he said in July 2020 that Americans should not "balance lives against the economy" and lambasted an August 2021 biker rally, saying it could cause a surge in cases.
Published under: Anthony Fauci