Dr. Anthony Fauci says it might be time to mandate masks when COVID-19 explodes in the US

Dr. Fauci said for the first time that the use of masks should be mandatory in the United States, given the resurgence of coronavirus

“A national mandate probably wouldn’t work,” he said Sept. 15 during a press conference with Vermont Gov. Phil Scott.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been urging Americans to wear face masks for months.

“I am confident with the American people that if we put a strong emphasis on the importance of wearing masks, we will make it through and get that percentage above the relatively low percentage of people who wear masks,” Fauci said in the July 21 morning issue. by NPR.

But Fauci has said before that he doesn’t believe a federal law imposing them is the way to go.

“I don’t like to be authoritarian on behalf of the federal government, but at the local level, if governors and others essentially demand the wearing of masks when there is an outbreak, I think that would be very important,” Fauci told Alabama Senator Doug Jones during a Facebook live event in July.

Until now.

“Well, if people don’t wear masks, then maybe we should demand it, ” Fauci told leading news channel on Friday.

Covid-19 has been worsening across the United States, with cases spiking in 32 states on Friday and holding steady in 17 more.

The University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said the country was entering a winter surge as new infections surpassed 75,000 in a single day on Friday and more than 800 deaths were reported.

Mandatory mask mandates can be difficult to enforce, but it might be time to apply, Fauci said.

“There is going to be a difficulty in enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that is important and they demand it and they all come together and say, you know, we are going to demand it, but let’s do it, I think it would be a great idea that everyone did it uniformly, ”he said.

As cooler weather rolls in, people need to “double down” on the measures that work, Fauci said.

“Wearing a universal mask” is one, he said, as is staying away from others and washing your hands frequently. “They sound very simple. But we are not doing that uniformly and that is one of the reasons we are seeing these surges, “Fauci told the leading news channel.

More than half a million lives could be lost to COVID-19 by February 28, 2021 in the United States, according to a modeling study published in Nature Medicine .

The study also estimates that the use of universal face masks could prevent the worst effects of the epidemic resurgence in many states and could save nearly 130,000 of those half a million lives.

The study also refers to the fact that since there are still no coronavirus vaccines available, non-pharmaceutical measures, such as the use of masks, social distancing, increased testing and isolation of infected people, are the only tools available. to reduce transmission.

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