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White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci has admitted that his wearing of a face mask indoors after being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 was based on imagery and not science.
The moment came during a Tuesday morning interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” in which the host pressed Fauci on how his mask-wearing practices have changed since the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Well, you know, George, I’m obviously careful because, I mean, I’m a physician and a health care provider. I am now much more comfortable in people seeing me indoors without a mask,” Fauci said. “I mean, before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals, but being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low, and that’s the reason why in indoor settings now I feel comfortable about not wearing a mask because I’m fully vaccinated.”
Dr. Fauci admits his wearing masks indoors despite being vaccinated was based on imagery, not science:
"I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals but being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low." pic.twitter.com/UdJdhHvoR0
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 18, 2021
Fauci’s latest admission, however, directly contradicts statements he made during a congressional hearing on March 18. Throughout his line of questioning, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., repeatedly pressed the infectious disease doctor on why Americans that have previously been infected with COVID-19 or have received the vaccine should continue to wear masks given the amount of evidence that points to some form of immunity.
“You’ve been vaccinated and you parade around in two masks for show. You can’t get it again,” stated Paul, calling that practice “theater.” “There’s virtually 0 percent chance you’re going to get it, and you’re telling people that have had the vaccine who have immunity — you’re defying everything we know about immunity by telling people to wear masks who have been vaccinated.”
“Here we go again with the theater,” Fauci said. “Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater,” Fauci continued. “I totally disagree with you.”
.@RandPaul evicerates Dr. Fauci over the “theater” of requiring Americans already immune from Covid to continue wearing masks.
Fauci’s ultimate rebuttal: “I totally disagree with you” pic.twitter.com/Ea0utSRUAb
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 18, 2021
This is hardly the first time Fauci has lied about how natural infection and vaccination could lead to long-term immunity. As noted by the New York Times, Fauci has continually shifted the goalposts on what percentage of the population must acquire resistance to COVID-19 in order for herd immunity to be achieved.
“In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did,” the article reads. “About a month ago, he began saying ‘70, 75 percent’ in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said ‘75, 80, 85 percent’ and ‘75 to 80-plus percent.’”
In a telephone interview with the Times the following day, Fauci openly admitted to fudging the numbers in response to public polling data. “When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” he said. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”