Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fauci says uptick in COVID cases won’t likely result in federal mask mandates

Former White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases will likely not result in federal mask mandates.

As summer is drawing to a close, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week” that the risk of a surge of new cases and hospitalizations is low, citing widespread immunity due to vaccines and previous infections.

“The chances of this being an overwhelming rush of cases or hospitalizations, is probably low,” he said. “So I think none of us in the public health field are predicting that this is going to be a tsunami of hospitalizations and deaths the way we saw a year or more ago.”

He said if the U.S. sees a large surge, government agencies may issue recommendations, but he does not think federal mask mandates will be necessary.

“I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used on the certain circumstances and indoor crowded settings,” he said. “But I don’t see there’d be certainly not federal mandates. I would be extremely surprised if we would see that.”

Fauci said last week that he was concerned that people would not follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, even if masking becomes recommended again.

“I would hope that if we get to the point that the volume of cases is such and organizations like the CDC recommends — CDC does not mandate anything — recommends that people wear masks, I would hope that people abide by that recommendation and take into account the risks to themselves and their families,” he said last week.

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