Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute for Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States. He is also the highest-paid employee in the entire federal government. According to Forbes, he made $417,608 in 2019 and is on pace to make $2.5 million from 2019 through 2024. In comparison, the annual salary of the President is $400,000. So, he must know his stuff, right?
Dr. Fauci has been a key voice during the Covid Pandemic and has made decisions that have affected the entire country. He is most notoriously known for his ability to turn on a dime when setting policies designed to protect us from the virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Given his salary and position, you would think that such health matters during a pandemic would be consistent and not change, but that has not been the case during the Covid Pandemic, especially when it comes to wearing masks. It all started simple enough, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, stay home if you are sick, and keep socially distant, but nothing was ever mentioned about masks. Over time, wearing masks and inconsistent messaging is what Dr. Fauci would be most known for.
Americans began to test positive for Covid-19, and preventative measures were being discussed to keep people safe from contracting the virus. While speaking to USA Today, Dr. Fauci says, “If you look at the masks that you buy in a drug store, the leakage around that doesn’t really do much to protect you,” he said. “People start saying, ‘Should I start wearing a mask?’ Now, in the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.” Dr, Fauci continues, “We have more kids dying of flu this year at this time than in the last decade or more,” he said. “At the same time, people are worrying about going to a Chinese restaurant. The threat is (we have) a pretty bad influenza season, particularly dangerous for our children.” In February of 2020, Dr. Fauci was more concerned with influenza than Covid, yet never once considered issuing a recommendation for masks to be worn in public even when his own words point to the concern that more children have died of the flu than at any point over the past ten years or more.
Less than a month later, Dr. Fauci sits down for an interview with Dr. Jon LaPook of “60 Minutes” about the Coronavirus, or Covid-19. In that interview, Dr. LaPook asks Dr. Fauci point-blank if Americans should be wearing masks, and he responded:
“The masks are important for someone who is infected to prevent them from infecting someone else. Now, when you see people, and you look at the films from China, South Korea, or whatever, and everyone is wearing a mask. Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.”
Dr. LaPook presses Fauci further and asks if he was sure about his claims. He replied, “When you are in the middle of an outbreak, masks might make people ‘feel’ a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it is not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often, there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.”
The issue of masks begins to change in April, and the CDC reverses their decision and recommends people cover their faces while in public. Fauci follows suit and, in an interview on Fox and Friends, says, “The better part of valor when you’re out, and you can’t maintain that six-foot distance is to wear some type of facial covering. An important point to emphasize, though, is that should never take away the availability of the masks that are needed for the health care providers who are in real present danger.”
The discussion on Fox and Friends was centered around data collected by the medical platform Sermo that stated 37 percent of 2,171 physicians surveyed who treat COVID-19 patients “felt” hydroxychloroquine to be most effective in treating the virus. Fauci’s response seemed strange, given his comments made during the “60 Minutes” interview a month earlier. When asked about the study, Fauci replied, “We don’t operate on how you feel, we operate on what evidence is, and data is.”
So, if you followed along with Fauci’s own statements during this time, masks may make people “feel” safe, but the science suggests that they do not provide adequate protection. Yet, in March of 2020, he expected Americans to have any type of facial coverings over their face that would have been less adequate than a mask.
The mask debate is at a fever pitch, and it began to weigh on the American people. Dr. Fauci used the mask as a symbol coupled with the phrase, “We are all in this together.” In an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Fauci said, “I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.” He continued his opinion by saying that masks are “not 100 percent effective” at preventing infections but that people should be wearing a mask to set an example for others. “It’s sort of respect for another person and have that other person respect you,” Fauci said. “You wear a mask, they wear a mask, you protect each other.” It is unclear the exact definition of a mask that Dr. Fauci uses in this interview. Is it a medical mask, an N95 mask, or a facial covering? This is an important point because, although masks are not effective, according to Dr. Fauci, we need to preserve masks for the medical professionals on the frontline combating the virus.
In June of 2020, there was a lot of confusion regarding wearing masks and their level of effectiveness in slowing the spread of Covid. Fauci was on CNN daily, and there was a lot of inconsistency in what he was telling the American people. In an interview with “The Street,” Fauci explained why he had flip-flopped on the mask issue, “The public-health community—and many people were saying this—were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. Now we have masks, and we know that you don’t need an N95 if you’re an ordinary person in the street. We also know that simple cloth coverings that many people have can work as well as a mask in many cases.”
Dr. Fauci testified on Capitol Hill that the federal government has had some missteps in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, Fauci stated, “We have to admit it, that that mixed message in the beginning, even though it was well-meant to allow masks to be available for health workers, that was detrimental in getting the message across.” Fauci took no responsibility for this confusing message; instead, he pointed to the February 29 tweet by Surgeon General Jerome Adams telling Americans to stop buying masks, they are “NOT effective,” and President Trump saying that he would not be wearing a mask as the source for all the confusion.
With schools about to reopen nationwide, Dr. Fauci believed that masks should be universally mandated in every school. In an interview with “World News Tonight,” the media darling told anchor David Muir, “There should be universal wearing of masks. There should be [to] the extent possible social distancing, avoiding crowds. Outdoors [is] always better than indoors and [you should] be in a situation where you continually have the capability of washing your hands and cleaning up with sanitizers.” Over and over, the expert in infectious diseases told the American people that masks were ineffective; now, they are key in the fight to slow the daily infections rate. Young people are more resilient to Covid than older people and people with existing health issues, but they needed to wear masks in order to slow the spread of the virus. Also, Covid is following, according to Fauci’s comments made earlier in the year, the deadliest influenza spike that killed more children at any point in over a decade. Masks were not required then, only hand washing and covering one’s mouth when they cough or sneeze, which is exactly how he prescribed treating Covid in the beginning.
The push for a nationwide mask mandate is now on Dr. Fauci’s agenda, and he goes to his favorite platform, CNN, to make his case. At this point in our timeline, many states were beginning to relax their restrictions. Dr. Fauci wanted to take that away, based on his future models forecasted regarding the Covid infection rate. Fauci stated, “That everyone agrees that this is something that’s important and they mandated it, and everybody pulls together and say, you know, we’re going to mandate it, but let’s just do it.” He continued, “I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly. And one of the issues, though, I get the argument say, well, if you mandate a mask, then you’re going to have to enforce it, and that’ll create more of a problem. Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it.”
Fauci said that “everyone agrees” that it is important to wear masks, but this is simply not true. In fact, 8 months earlier, he said masks were ineffective, caused more harm than good, and should only be worn by those who were sick. We are less than a month away from the Presidential Election, and Fauci was pushing a nationwide mask mandate contrary to his position months earlier.
Cancel those Thanksgiving plans because Fauci recommended that masks be worn indoors for Turkey Day and limited to a small group of people. Fauci said on CBS This Morning, “Even if it’s a very small group, to the extent possible, keep the mask on.” Fauci made this statement while acknowledging that you have to remove the mask to eat or drink. Eight months ago, masks were ineffective, if anything caused more harm than good, but now the American people are being told that you need to wear them, even if you are indoors with family members. Thanksgiving is all about eating and drinking with family while giving thanks for what you have. Fauci applied the same logic to Christmas celebrations; do not gather in large groups with family, and for God’s sake, wear a mask.
Two masks are better than one. That’s right, now wearing multiple layers of facial coverings or masks or a combination of both is certainly a more effective approach to slowing the spread of Covid-19. On “Today,” Fauci stated, “So if you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.” He added, “That’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95.”
Covid has been in the United States for over a year, and it is the one-year anniversary of Dr. Fauci stating that the chance of coronavirus in the U.S. is “minuscule” and that we should “skip the mask” unless infected and to continue to wash hands and practice good hygiene. Fauci celebrated the anniversary by saying, “If you combine getting most of the people in the country vaccinated with getting the level of virus in the community very, very low, then I believe you’re going to be able to say, you know, for the most part, we don’t necessarily have to wear masks.” Fauci continued, “We’ll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year (2021), and God willing; this Christmas will be different than last.” God willing is right!
There has never been consistent messaging on masks, facial coverings, and face shields. Nor has there been a distinction between what qualifies as good, what qualifies as bad, or how many layers you need. You would think a renowned doctor in infection disease would have a plan to slow the spread of a virus such as Covid. You would also think he would have a simple yes or no answer on whether masks work or not.
Dr. Fauci started at the height of a horrible flu season by stating that masks are largely ineffective against the spread of the flu, and he would treat coronavirus the same way as any other flu season. The only recommendations he made were to wash your hands, avoid large crowds, stay home if you are sick, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and that masks were ineffective unless you were sick. It was not until almost 3 months later that he told the American people that any facial covering will protect people and slow the spread of the virus. When confronted with the inconsistency about the messaging in July 2020 he admitted that the messaging was part of the problem earlier on, but the Federal Government knew that it was short on masks, and telling people to “mask up” would create a shortage for frontline workers. If any type of facial covering will do, why wasn’t that suggested at the very beginning? Why wait to suggest multiple layers of facial coverings and/or masks until January 2021, almost a year later?
The fact is that none of this ever made any sense. People like Dr. Fauci spend their workdays, or at least they should, game planning for scenarios like the Covid-19 Pandemic, and when it occurred, they did not know what to do. You would think the answer to wearing masks or a simple facial covering would be an easy yes or no answer. It makes absolutely no sense to suggest NOT to wear a mask out of fear of running out of masks when any facial covering will do. Equally, if masks are not effective, wouldn’t you suggest multiple layers of facial coverings at the onset as well. Lastly, if masks, or any facial covering, slows the spread of the flu or Covid, why wasn’t it recommended during the flu season that claimed the lives of so many children and at-risk populations in 2019-2020? Dr. Fauci’s job is to know the answer to these very simple questions; he is either incompetent, or something far more sinister is at play here. Decide for yourself.