On 08/03/2020 as recorded by 60 minutes TV show Doctor Anthony Fauci – The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that masks would not stop the spread of coronavirus.
Snopes Rating – No Rating
Full Fact – No Rating
Fact Check – Outdated
Lead Stories Rating – Partly False
Our Rating – True
For some reason Lead Stories and Factcheck.org have focused on the age of the comments and the change in advice following the statement. This is used by facebook to report the statements as “old guidance”
The simple fact is that Dr. Fauci stated to the nation as an expert that he did not believe that facemasks would help protect people from the spread of Covid-19 with the following statement:
There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.
This is a professional view of an expert that cannot be revoked with the passage of time, so the fact check is incorrect in asserting that his view from many years of scientific investigation can be somehow be changed in a month.
As it happens the evidence of the spread of Covid-19 since show that Dr. Fauci was correct, because masks have been introduced in many countries to no avail, and the spread has exponentially grown even with this mitigation in place.
The idea that an expert opinion is so fluid that it is not worth considering is not what the fact checkers want to present here, rather it is the idea that you do as you are told and you are to forget what the advice was a month ago. This is political agenda not a scientific one as all can plainly see.
The transcript of the important part of the interview is as follows:
Fauci: Right now in the United States people should not be walking around with masks.
LaPook: You’re sure of it? Because people are listening really closely to this.
Fauci: Right now, people should not be worried. There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.
LaPook: And can you get some schmutz sort of staying inside there?
Fauci: Of course, but when you think mask you should think of health care providers needing them and people who are ill. The people who when you look at the films of foreign countries and you see 85% of the people wearing masks that’s fine, that’s fine. I’m not against it if you want to do it that’s fine.
The interview video in full:
The important part of the interview for download: