On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, former White House chief medical adviser, said he believes that the federal government could issue recommendations to mask up this fall and winter if the U.S. sees a spike in cases of COVID-19.
Fauci appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss a recent rise in COVID cases and potential precautions heading into the colder months.
“I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used under certain circumstances in indoor crowded settings,” Fauci said.
However, Fauci noted that federal mandates are highly unlikely in his mind, saying, “I would be extremely surprised if we would see that. … There may be local organizations that may require masks, but I think what we’re going to see mostly are, if the cases go up, that there might be recommendations, not mandates. There’s a big difference there.”
Fauci said that the current rise in cases has caused a spike of “17 or more percent in hospitalizations” and added that number will likely increase as we move into the fall and winter months.
However, despite the uptick in cases, Fauci added that hospitals are unlikely to be overloaded with patients.
“I think none of us in the public health field are predicting that this is going to be a tsunami of hospitalizations and deaths the way we saw a year or more ago,” Fauci said, adding that boosters will likely be available before the end of September.
Fauci made similar comments on a possible return of mask recommendations previously, prompting several physicians to speak to Fox News, arguing that masks will not reduce the spread of the virus.
“Let’s face it, regardless of mask usage, the population en masse will be exposed to SARS-COV-2, and its variants, as is the case with influenza,” said Dr. Brett Osborn, a board-certified neurosurgeon in West Palm Beach, Florida. “This intermittent fluctuation is the new norm, so expect it — as COVID-19 is here to stay.”
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