Dr. Fauci Warns: Without Masks, ‘Real Risk’ of Coronavirus at Protests, Trump Rallies
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci warned protesters that congregating is “risky” and a danger on Friday — before adding that the same rules of social distancing and wearing a mask applies to President Donald Trump’s rallies.
Speaking to ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on the Powerhouse Politics podcast about protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody, Fauci told Karl that “the issue is, from a public health standpoint, you shouldn’t be congregating in that close quarters that you see in demonstrations, but almost everyone understands the need to be able to express your Constitutional right. To be able to demonstrate in a peaceful way against something that’s really a very important social issue.”
“I respect that, however, I have to as a public health official say that is risky,” he continued, noting, “You can always say the two things that get in the way of the virus are social distancing — a physical distancing — as well as a mask. So what I’m saying, for those who want to avoid infection, implement both of those.”
“But you know, no matter what I say — and reality has proven that — people are going to go out and demonstrate, so my advice and pleading with them would be that if you feel you must do that, please make sure you wear a mask at all times,” Fauci pleaded. “And when you start to chant and shout, even though the instinct is to pull the mask down, which you see, don’t do that because there is a risk there and it’s a real risk, and in fact we just heard this past week that several DC National Guardsmen turned out to be positive.”
After being asked about the upcoming return of President Trump’s campaign rallies, and whether the same applies, Fauci said, “I am consistent. I stick by what I say. The best way that you can avoid either acquiring or transmitting infection is to avoid crowded places, to wear a mask whenever you’re outside, and if you can do both, avoid the congregation of people and do the mask, that’s great.”
“If you’re going to be in a situation where, beyond your control there’s a lot of people around you, make sure you wear a mask,” he concluded.
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