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Fauci said in early days of Covid outbreak that masks ‘NOT EFFECTIVE in keeping out virus,’ small droplets pass through

Fauci said in early days of Covid outbreak that masks ‘NOT EFFECTIVE in keeping out virus,’ small droplets pass through
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US authority on all things Covid-19, said privately during the early stages of the outbreak that masks don't protect people from catching the virus – in stark contrast to his later directives.

“The typical mask you buy in the drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material,” Fauci said in a February 2020 email to Sylvia Burwell, assumed to be the former Obama administration health official. “It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep [sic] out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.” 

While masks may help prevent an infected person from spreading Covid-19, Fauci said, he advised Burwell that it wouldn't be helpful for her, as an uninfected person, to mask up. “I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low-risk location. Your instincts are correct. Money is best spent on medical countermeasures, such as diagnostics and vaccines.”

The message was part of a trove of Fauci emails that BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request and released on Tuesday. Fauci's flip-flopping on masks and other Covid-19 mitigation measures is well known, but his message to Burwell gives insight into what he knew as the virus was just beginning to spread in the US. There were only a dozen cases in the country at the time, and the president's chief medical adviser knew that Covid-19 could be aerosolized in droplets too small to be blocked by a typical store-bought mask.

Also on rt.com Fauci consulted with colleagues about man-made Covid-19 theories, gain-of-function research in early days of pandemic, emails show

Nevertheless, Fauci became a leading proponent and modeler of mask-wearing, to the point of saying in January 2021 that double-masking “makes common sense.” He appeared to reverse course a few days later, saying the CDC hadn't changed its mask advice because there was no scientific data showing that multiple masks provide greater protection.

Fauci proceeded to wear two masks himself, even after being vaccinated against Covid-19. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) accused the doctor of performing safety “theater” in a March Senate hearing by muzzling himself “for show.” At the time, Fauci was still advising that Americans wear masks, regardless of whether they had been vaccinated or already had recovered from the virus.

Also on rt.com WHO official with ties to Wuhan coronavirus research thanked Fauci for dispelling ‘myth’ that Covid leaked from lab, email reveals

Last month, the CDC finally relaxed its mask guidelines, saying it was safe for vaccinated Americans to ditch face coverings both outdoors and indoors. Fauci then admitted that he was wearing masks while vaccinated to avoid “giving mixed signals” on public health directives – not because there was a risk of catching a Covid-19 variant, as he told Paul.

The nation's top expert on infectious diseases said in a March 2020 ‘60 Minutes’ interview that Americans “should not be walking around with masks,” indicating that was both because they were not effective and could lead to shortages for medical professionals. In June, he admitted the shortages were the main reason the government discouraged mask-wearing.

Fauci also moved the goalposts on the estimated US vaccination rate that would provide herd immunity from 60-70% to as high as 85%. He told the New York Times last December that he “nudged” his targets upward on “new science” and polling data that showed people were increasingly ready to hear his true estimate. 

“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent...,” he said. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.” 

Also on rt.com ‘Didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals,’ says vaccinated Fauci as he gives yet ANOTHER explanation for masking up

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