Anthony Fauci Says Masks Work So Well People Might Wear Them After Pandemic Is Over

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appears at an event.
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News & Politics

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), appeared Sunday on NBC to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, Fauci argued that the United States is "unlikely" to see another coronavirus surge in the near future, because the population is being vaccinated at record pace.

President Joe Biden's administration has embarked on an effort to vaccinate 70 percent of Americans by July 4, which would guarantee an almost compete return to normality. 

Fauci Says US Is 'Unlikely' To See COVID-19 Surge

Fauci told Todd that vaccines are a "game-changer," noting that he doesn't expect a resurgence of COVID-19 cases this fall, according to The Hill.

"I mean, if we get... 70 percent of the people vaccinated by the 4th of July, namely one single dose, and even more thereafter, you may see blips," Fauci said.

"But if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you'll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter. That's the reason why vaccinations are so important," he added.

Vaccines 

Biden promised after assuming the presidency to tackle the coronavirus pandemic with public health measures and an aggressive vaccination campaign.

So far, over 150 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Only 34 percent of America is fully vaccinated, however, which means there is a long way to go until herd immunity, which most scientists claim will be reached once 70 or 80 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Vaccine hesitancy appears to be the main obstacle at this point, according to reports.

Masks

Fauci also argued that Americans now realize how effective face masks are, claiming that some might continue to wear them after the coronavirus pandemic, especially during flu season.

"We've had practically a nonexistent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against COVID-19," Fauci noted.

"It is conceivable that, as we go on a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory-borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you'll spread these respiratory borne diseases."

Mixed Messaging 

Dr. Anthony Fauci during a congressional hearing.
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Fauci has been accused of misleading the American public. Early on in the pandemic, Fauci strongly advised Americans against buying and wearing face masks, but later changed his mind.

As reported by The New York Post, MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan last month grilled Fauci over this, asking if it was a mistake to tell the public masks were unnecessary.

Fauci told Hassan that evidence at the time suggested masks made no difference. He noted that he changed his mind because the data and science changed.