Fauci: Seasonal Mask-Wearing ‘Quite Possible’

Fauci: Seasonal Mask-Wearing ‘Quite Possible’ thumbnail
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the COVID vaccine at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Md., December 22, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/Reuters)

During an appearance on NBC News Meet the Press Sunday, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci commented that seasonal mask-wearing is “quite possible.”

“It is conceivable that in a year or two, that during certain seasonal periods with respiratory-borne diseases, people might elect to wear masks,” Fauci said.

He noted that many people have become accustomed to wearing face-coverings. Fauci cited the case study of Australia and their history of mask use and efficacy, attributing their mild flu season to diligent mask-wearing.

“When you have the ability of a particular virus to go further than just a few feet, clearly one of the most important things is proper ventilation, and number two, mask-wearing,” Fauci said of ways to minimize aerosol transmission.

Fauci emphasized indoor-mask wearing in an environment with unvaccinated people, adding that it is “already a CDC recommendation anyway.”

Addressing host Chuck Todd’s question about the Biden administration’s target goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the U.S. adult population, Fauci responded, “I believe it is a reasonable goal.”

He elaborated that it is important to dispatch “trusted messengers” such as sports figures, celebrities and entertainment figures, clergy, and doctors to combat vaccine hesitancy. Fauci continued that a second strategy to increase vaccination rates should be to expand accessibility via pharmacies and “mobile units to go out into not easily accessible areas.”

“That’s how we get that last group of people that seem to be recalcitrant,” he added.

On the subject of COVID-19 deaths, Todd cited the recorded statistics that over 900,000 Americans have died from the disease. In response to the quoting of those numbers, Fauci said, “We have been undercounting.”

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