Doctor Anthony Fauci had a tough exchange on CNN over the weekend. Fauci was pressed by CNN’s Michael Smerconish on the effectiveness of masks.
CNN noted a Gallup poll that shows public confidence in the U.S. medical system has fallen from 44 percent to 34 percent from 2021-2023.
Fauci said America is starting to see a surge in cases of the latest COVID strain, but said the virus is very unpredictable.
“I am concerned that people will not abide by recommendations,” he said. “And we’re not talking about mandates or forcing anybody, but when you have a situation where the volume of cases in society gets to a reasonably high level, particularly the vulnerable — those who are elderly and those with underlying conditions — are going to be more susceptible and vulnerable if they do get infected to get severe disease leading to hospitalization. We know that. That’s a fact. We’ve seen that. So I would hope that if in fact, we get to the point where the volume of cases is such and organizations like the CDC recommend — CDC doesn’t mandate anything — I mean, recommends that people wear masks, I would hope that they abide by the recommendation and take into account the risk to themselves and to their families.”
Smerconish noted a “perception” out there that masks didn’t work.
“That’s not so,” Fauci said. “I mean, when you’re talking about at the population level that the data are less strong than knowing that if you look on a situation as an individual, protecting themselves or protecting them from spreading it, there’s no doubt that masks work.”
Fauci said the “weight” of the studies indicates the benefit of wearing masks.
Smerconish discussed an article from the New York Times that said the most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of illnesses, including COVID, were unambiguous.
“There is just no evidence that they — masks — make any difference,” said Tom Jefferson, Oxford epidemiologist.
Fauci said there are other studies that show at an individual level, for an individual, there is “no doubt” many studies show there is an advantage to masking.
But at the broad population level, Fauci admitted the data is “less firm.”
You can watch the full segment below: