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Fauci Argues That ‘Masking Is Important’ During ‘Final Message’

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Anthony Fauci

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, used his last public briefing to argue that “masking is important” – contradicting statements he made privately to one of his close associates in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What should Americans expect when it comes to COVID in the weeks ahead?” a reporter asked.

“Well, what Americans should expect is, from our experience, that you never can definitively say what to expect,” Fauci responded, adding that Americans could “take some comfort in knowing that” there “we can do a lot to mitigate any surge” like “COVID vaccines” and “wear[ing] masks.”

Later in the press conference, Fauci said that “masking is important” and that “masking, vaccine, boosting, testing — all of that is part of the spectrum of protecting yourself and your family.”

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fauci told one of his close associates in an email that he did not recommend wearing a face mask.

On Feb. 4, 2020, Sylvia Burwell, a former secretary of Health and Human Services under Barack Obama, emailed Dr. Anthony Fauci with a question.

“Tony … I am traveling to [REDACTED]. Folks are suggesting I take a mask for the airport,” Burwell wrote. “Is this something I should do.”

Fauci responded early the next day.

“Sylvia: Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” Fauci wrote.

“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material,” he added. “It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep[ing] out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you. I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location.”

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