Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Friday said he believes there should be a nationwide mask mandate in the United States.
"If you look at the numbers, Erin, it sells that we really - we're facing a really challenging situation and if we don't do something in the sense of paying stricter attention to the kinds of public health mitigation issues that we were talking about, it's not going to spontaneously turn around," Fauci explained to CNN's Erin Burnett. "The good news on the horizon is that vaccines look promising and, hopefully by the time we get to the end of November, beginning of December, we will have shown that we have at least one or two – and maybe more – but at least two vaccines that are safe and effective. That's going to be an important issue but, from the public health standpoint, if you look at the numbers of the daily infections, the upticks on the map of more than 30 states that are having upticks, it's not going to spontaneously turnaround unless we do something about it."
The NIAID director said Americans can't just throw their hands up and say they're done fighting the Wuhan coronavirus.
"We have control of this. We can do things that could turn that around," Fauci said.
Burnett asked Dr. Fauci what he thought of former Vice President Joe Biden's suggestion about a nationwide mask mandate. Biden said he would go to each of the nation's 50 governors, ask for them to make the mandate. If he or she refused, he would then go to local officials to have them implement the mandate.
"One of the issues that people that talk about with mandating not being a good idea because they'll say they have to enforce it and it's going to be a difficult with enforcing it. But if everyone agrees that this is something that's important and they mandate it and everybody pulls together and say, 'We're going to mandate it, let's just do it' I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly," he said. "One of the issues though, I get the argument, is say if you mandate a mask and you're going to have to enforce it and that'll make more of a problem. Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."
Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US should probably mandate mask use, even if people complain about the trouble with enforcing it.— CNN (@CNN) October 24, 2020
“If people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” says Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert. https://t.co/CAJYWWLuJw pic.twitter.com/B6IF8SJvSn