The pandemic is easing, but there’s still uncertainty about when and where to wear protective masks. Dr. Anthony Fauci once again stepped into the breach on Sunday’s Meet The Press on NBC, claiming mask-wearing could eventually become “seasonal.”
Fauci said Americans have gotten used to wearing face coverings, which he said “diminishes respiratory diseases.”
The statement marks yet another milestone in Fauci’s ongoing mask advice. Notorious for once stating, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” he has since altered his views, claiming he made that statement to boost the availability of PPE to first responders early in the pandemic.
Government agencies like the National Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also shifted their policies on masks. It wasn’t until April 3 of last year that the CDC urged everyone to wear one.
On Sunday, Fauci again opined about mask etiquette.
“So 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,” Fauci said.
He also predicted that we won’t see another surge in COVID-19 cases this fall if the majority of Americans get the vaccine.
“The fact that we have vaccines right now … is really a game changer,” Fauci said on NBC.
Of course, many Americans have not yet been vaccinated, either by choice or because the various jabs aren’t available to them.
“That’s the reason … why we plead with people to get vaccinated because the larger proportion of the population that’s vaccinated, the less likelihood that in a season like the coming fall or winter you’re going to see a significant surge,” Fauci said.
“That’s the wild card that we have now that we didn’t have last fall or the last winter.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.