(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com)- The controversy surrounding masks amid the coronavirus pandemic took another turn this week, when Dr. Anthony Fauci said the public was discouraging from wearing them early on so there wouldn’t be a shortage for medical workers.
Fauci, who was the chief medical advisor on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said public health experts told the public they shouldn’t wear masks during the early stages of the pandemic because they were worried there wouldn’t be enough to go around for health-care workers.
According to Fauci, the experts “were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.
“We wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health-care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.”
The World Health Organization released guidance on April 6 discouraging the use of masks by the public, saying it could create a “false sense of security.” The WHO was worried that if people wore masks in public, they would let their guard down in terms of social distancing and washing their hands, which would lead to a higher rate of infections.
That came only days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended everyone wear masks when they ventured out in public.
Two months later, in early June, the WHO updated guidance saying people should wear fabric face masks or face shields while in public.
Initially, Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, even discouraged Americans from wearing face masks in public because they were “not effective” at preventing coronavirus infections. In an April 29 tweet, he wrote:
“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
He later changed course in April, though, saying “we now know there is a significant amount of asymptomatic spread.”
Fauci confirmed that “masks work” for the general public. They serve as protection for healthy people, and also to protect people who are already infected from spreading the coronavirus to other people. He explained:
“Masks are not 100% protective. However, they certainly are better than not wearing a mask. Both to prevent you, if you happen to be a person who maybe feels well, but has an asymptomatic infection that you don’t even know about, to prevent you from infecting someone else, but also it can protect you a certain degree, not a hundred percent, in protecting you from getting infected from someone who, either is breathing, or coughing, or sneezing, or singing or whatever it is in which the droplets or the aerosols go out.
“So, masks work. The important thing is actually physical separation.”