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Tipsheet

Biden Covid-19 Adviser Points Out Fauci's Latest Mask Comment Is 'Counterproductive'

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position on masks has evolved once again. In one year, he’s gone from saying masks shouldn’t be worn, to arguing they should, to now saying doubling up on masks is “common sense."

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“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective," Fauci told NBC’s Today Show. “And that’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95.”

But Biden Covid-19 adviser Dr. Michael Osterholm pushed back on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease director’s recent comments.

"There’s a lot of talk that double masking is going to become an official [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommendation," MSNBC's Chuck Todd said. "Where are you on this and would you be providing this guidance to people if asked?"

Osterholm lamented that N95 masks and other “highly efficient and effective kinds of respiratory protection” are still not available for widespread use beyond healthcare workers. 

“In terms of using the face cloth coverings, doubling them, actually we need to be very careful about that,” he said. “That may actually be counterproductive, not helpful. We know, and I’m not an aerobiologist, but we know that in fact they may actually impede the movement of air in and out and causing it to actually escape in the big crevices between the cloth and your face. That’s a bigger problem, not a lesser problem than one.”

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He continued: "If you get too thick of cloth the air doesn't move through it efficiently, you feel suffocating and the air then moves in and out of the cracks. So that's why we have to be very careful about people making recommendations right now about double masking and so forth without really having the data to support that..."

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