Fauci Faced With Study That Raised Doubts About Masks
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was confronted with a study on Monday that raised doubts about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The exchange happened during an interview on CNN over the weekend when host Michael Smerconish brought up an analysis released in January by The Cochrane Institute.Smerconish also focused on an opinion piecefrom Bret Stephens in The New York Times that quoted Oxford epidemiologist and lead author of the study, Tom Jefferson, telling journalist Maryanne Demasi there was a lack of evidence underpinning the effectiveness of masks and saying mask mandates were based on “flawed” studies.
“Yeah but there are other studies,” Fauci replied, stressing that other reviews focus on the individual level.
“When you’re talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong,” Fauci said. “But when you talk about as an individual basis of someone protecting themselves or protecting themselves from spreading it to others, there’s no doubt that there’s many studies that show that there is an advantage.”
“When you [look] at the broad population level like the Cochrane study, the data are less firm with regard to the effect on the overall pandemic,” Fauci added. “But we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about an individual’s effect on their own safety. That’s a bit different than the broad population level.”
“I would hope that if in fact we get to the point that the volume of cases is such and organizations like the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommend — CDC does not mandate anything — recommends that people wear masks, I would hope that they abide by the recommendation and take into account the risks to themselves and to their families,” Fauci said.
Fauci’s comments were met with criticism from some conservatives, who accused him of being dishonest about the effectiveness of masks. They said the study’s findings should lead to a reassessment of the CDC’s mask guidance.
Fauci confronted with most definitive data analysis possible that masks make ZERO difference against Covid. Not a little, not slight- Zero. And he just mutters some numerical illiteracy bullshit about “individual protection.” He’s a fraud and a liar
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) September 3, 2023