Dr. Anthony Fauci flip-flopped once again on masking as a means to tamp down COVID-19 as he admitted that a wide-ranging study found that face masks made no difference in the course of the pandemic.
Federal agencies and state and local governments decreed onerous mask mandates for airplanes, schools, public transit, restaurants, workplaces and more starting in 2020 — thanks largely to Fauci, the public face of the nation’s official COVID response.
As the White House’s chief medical adviser, Fauci gave conflicting advice on the efficacy of masking, first saying it was unnecessary for the general public, then that “universal wearing of masks is the most practical way to go.”
As recently as this May, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that unvaccinated children still should mask up when playing with friends.
But in February, a major study from the Cochrane Library found that wearing them was pointless.
“There’s still no evidence that masks are effective during a pandemic,” Tom Jefferson, the study’s lead author, said in February.
“There is just no evidence that they make any difference. Full stop.”
Confronted with Jefferson’s quotes, Fauci backtracked.
“When you’re talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong,” he admitted.
“But there are other studies, Michael, that show at an individual level, for individuals,” they might be protective, he said.
Mask and vaccine mandates have become a hot-button issue in the Republican presidential primary.