Dr. Anthony Fauci, who led the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, revised his stance on the use of face masks in the context of the coronavirus, according to a report from the New York Post.
This comes after a comprehensive study indicated that face masks did not significantly alter the trajectory of the pandemic.
“I am concerned that people will not abide by recommendations,” Fauci remarked during an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish that discussed a reported surge in cases of the newest COVID-19 variant.
Since the pandemic’s onset, federal agencies along with state and local governments, implemented stringent mask mandates in various settings, including airplanes, schools, public transit, restaurants and workplaces.
Fauci, as the most recognizable voice of the nation’s official COVID-19 response, played a pivotal role in these decisions, the report noted.
In his capacity as the White House’s chief medical adviser, Fauci has given shifting guidance on mask-wearing.
Initially, he declared masks were not effective for the general populace but later reversed course, saying, “universal wearing of masks is the most practical way to go.”
He recommended that unvaccinated children should “mask up when playing with friends” in advice he gave parents in May, according to the Post report.
A significant February study from the Cochrane Library presented a different perspective.
“There’s still no evidence that masks are effective during a pandemic,” said study lead author Tom Jefferson. “There is just no evidence that they make any difference. Full stop.”
Smerconish put pull quotes from the study on a screen as he read them aloud before asking Fauci’s response to criticism leveled against mask mandates in the study.
“When you’re talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong,” acknowledged the former presidential medical adviser.
“But there are other studies, Michael, that show at an individual level, for individuals,” they might offer protection, Fauci added.
The CNN host included a clip of Donald Trump definitively declaring in a Truth post that Americans are much better informed about the risks of COVID-19 now, compared to 2020.
“To every COVID tyrant who wants to take away our freedom, hear these words,” Trump said.
“We will not comply!”