Anthony Fauci Defends Past Comments About Masks, Social Distancing

During a Washington Post Live interview on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci defended his past comments on the novel coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reported.

The longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has faced criticism for his past statements including that Americans did not need to wear masks and that the public could go about their daily lives as normal.

Fauci explained that as science revealed more about the virus, he reconsidered his recommendations.

“As the data changes, then you change the recommendation,” he said. “Back then, the critical issue was to save the masks for the people who really needed them because it was felt there was a shortage… Also, we didn’t realize at all the extent of asymptomatic spread.”

Fauci added that his suggestion that Americans don’t need to change their behavior has been “taken out of context.”

“People who say that’s a mistake leave out the second part of my sentence,” he said, noting that he warned that the situation with coronavirus could change quickly.

Science has indeed confirmed that face coverings and social distancing are an effective way to fight the spread of COVID-19.

As Time reported, a group of scientists led by Dr. Holger Schunemann, professor of clinical epidemiology and medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, recently released an analysis of 172 different studies.

The analysis established that the risk of contracting coronavirus from an infected person while standing 3 feet apart was 3 percent.

“What we tried to do was bring everything together and sort out what distance might be the most effective, rather than an arbitrary threshold,” Schunemann explained.

The data also showed that N95 masks and surgical veils offer the best protection against COVID-19.

Per The Inquisitr, Fauci has reportedly been sidelined by the White House. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s allies leaked a “lengthy list” of Fauci’s misleading statements to the press, apparently in an attempt to damage the expert’s credibility.

The NIAID director’s television and media appearances have reportedly been limited. To speak with members of the press, Fauci allegedly has to have permission from Michael Caputo, the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Blue Room of the White House.

Voters view Fauci as a credible source of information about COVID-19, polling suggests. In a New York Times/Siena College poll released in June, 67 percent of respondents said that they trusted Fauci for accurate information about the virus, while only 26 percent said they trusted Trump.