On Monday, a full transcript of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s deposition in the ongoing case over social media censorship was released. The transcript revealed that Fauci opposed mask wearing in the first months of the pandemic, and that he appeared to endorse universal mask wearing without any new evidence.
Near the end of the deposition that occurred on November 23, attorney D. John Sauer noted a February 2020 email that Fauci sent to Sylvia Burwell, former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, advising her not to wear a mask in the airport.
“Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected, rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” the email stated. “The typical mask you buy in the drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keeping out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you. I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you’re going to a low risk location.”
Sauer asked Fauci if he recalled making this recommendation, to which Fauci replied, “I don’t recall. I mean, these things — thousands of things happen. If you show me an e-mail that has my name and the proper identification and I said that, I would not argue with you. It would not be out of the question that at that time in the outbreak, I would have said that.”
Sauer noted that Fauci made “several statements” about masks being not effective during “that time frame,” to which Fauci agreed.
“In the very early months prior to our understanding of the virus and its modality of transmission, I, the surgeon general, and the CDC were not recommending masks for people for three reasons,” Fauci said.
Fauci’s first reason was that masks were in shorty supply “and if people did a run on masks and bought them all, that masks would not be available for the people in the medical community who needed them.”
Secondly, Fauci admitted that “there was no evidence at the time or any studies that showed outside of the medical environment, i.e., in a hospital or in an ICU, that masks actually worked in protecting transmission or acquisition.” And, thirdly, Fauci stated “we were not aware at the time that 50 to 60 percent of the transmission occur from someone who is without symptoms.”
Sauer noted that on March 31st, 2020, Fauci forwarded “a study showing that masking is ineffective; a review of masking on March 31st, 2020 that said there was no evidence that masks worked.” But less than a week later, on April 3rd, 2020, Fauci endorsed a recommendation for universal masking.
Fauci responded, “I don’t recall that, so I’m not able to answer that accurately, I believe.”
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