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Dr. Fauci just made a lot of people furious with his latest coronavirus advice

Published Oct 26th, 2020 9:54AM EDT
Coronavirus Face Masks Mandates
Image: Kevin Dietsch - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • Dr. Fauci says it might be time to mandate face masks as the novel coronavirus surges yet again in the US.
  • Daily new COVID-19 cases hit new records over the weekend, surpassing even the astronomical numbers we saw back in mid-July.
  • Fauci has previously resisted advocating for mask mandates, and people are already furious over his new advice despite the fact that we’re headed straight for the coronavirus nightmare everyone has been dreading.

The face mask is sadly one of the most politicized aspects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Face coverings, social distancing, and frequent hand washing are simple things everyone can do to reduce the risk of infection. Add to that the frequent airing of homes and other indoor areas as well as avoiding gatherings, and you end up with the recipe for theoretical success. The infection risk drops significantly, though it doesn’t disappear entirely. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is crucial until vaccines and more effective therapies are available. Reducing the risk of infection doesn’t just prevent deaths, it also prevents long-lasting COVID complications that can be quite dangerous as well. And yet so many people still resist masks, which have ridiculously become a symbol of oppression for some Americans.

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has refrained from recommending mask mandates in the past. However, he has repeatedly said that everyone should wear face covers and observe all the other health precautions. But Fauci is now changing his tune, and he says it might be time to mandate masks across America. Needless to say, plenty of people out there were outraged by the mere suggestion.

The US just reached the third peak of its COVID-19 epidemic, just as experts predicted. More than 80,000 cases were recorded each day on Friday and Saturday, and those figures could keep climbing this week. The colder weather helps the virus survive longer and people tend to congregate more in indoor spaces when it’s cold out. The number of infections might continue to increase, especially in regions where communities aren’t as strict about health measures.

“Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” Fauci said on CNN a few days ago.

As CNN points out, Fauci was skeptical about the necessity of face masks in previous interviews, although he urged the public to wear masks and observe the other public health measures.

Fauci acknowledged that mandating masks has the downside of having to enforce those mandates. “There’s going to be a difficulty enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that’s important and they mandate it, and everybody pulls together and says, you know, we’re going to mandate it but let’s just do it, I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director said.

Fauci added that people need to “double down” on safety measures with colder weather coming in. “Universal mask-wearing” is just one of them. Keeping the distance from others and frequent hand washing are others. “They sound very simple. But we’re not uniformly doing that, and that’s one of the reasons we’re seeing these surges,” the doctor said.

The health expert weighed in on a recent experiment from a popular YouTube channel that shows how effective face masks are at blocking the invisible droplets and aerosols we eject from our mouths as we speak. Those particles can be loaded with active coronavirus cells that can infect anyone in the vicinity of the person speaking. Fauci explained that the simple experiment perfectly illustrates the need for face masks during the pandemic — that interview is available at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.