Fauci Warns Mask Wearing Still Necessary Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a face mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Wednesday, 07 April 2021 02:17 PM
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS on Wednesday that while mask wearing "depends on the level of the virus in the community," it’s still broadly necessary to avoid "another surge."
In an interview on "CBS This Morning," host Gayle King noted that attendees at a recent Texas Rangers baseball game were seen seated closely together with many not wearing masks, and asked if it’s acceptable for people at events to not wear masks.
"Well, you know, it depends on the level of the virus in the community, Gayle," Fauci said. "That's the important point. That's the thing that I and several of my colleagues in the public health arena, the director of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and others, are saying."
He added, "Every day that goes by, we get closer and closer to where we want to be. And we don't want people now all of a sudden to declare victory prematurely and then feed into what is a potential surge. What we are seeing, if you look at the numbers every day, we have that peak, we came down, we plateaued, and we got stuck there. Now we're starting to inch up in several states, increases in cases as opposed to a leveling off and decreasing. We've got to hang in there and not completely pull back on several of the mitigation methods of public health because if we do that we're tempting another surge."
Fauci said, "you balance that against the vaccine because every day we hang on and don't allow a surge to occur is an advantage to us because every day we get three million to four million more vaccinated. That is critical. If we do that for another few weeks to a month or more, we're going to be ahead of the game. And that surge won't occur."
He said earlier in the interview that the vaccine rollout is "getting better and better by the day. If you just look around the country, we're seeing that there was a gap between supply and demand, and literally every day that goes by, if that gap is closing, that's the reason why the president was able to make that statement pushing up the date when people would be essentially — everyone would be eligible to receive the vaccine. So although there was some issues regarding early on that the demand clearly outstripped the supply, that's closing down. That gap is closing. And that's really good news. You know, we're now going between three and four million doses per day. And every day that goes by, it gets us further and further toward that goal of being able to get ahead of any possible surge."
When asked about businesses requiring vaccines for people working in offices or coming into a business for an event, Fauci said that while he can’t "come out and officially say" whether or not he would support such a requirement, "here's almost certainly going to be what you predicted. Namely, there are going to be organizations … which are going to do just what you indicated. They're going to say we're not going to have you come in unless you get vaccinated. You're not going to see that from a federal government mandate. But I mean, I would be surprised if we did not see that at the local level."
He added that "from a public health standpoint, the more people we would get vaccinated, yes, it would help, the better off we would be."