Last February and March, medical authorities in government from the highest level in Washington, D.C. to local health directors told the public that the average person wearing a mask in public was engaging in an unhealthy behavior.
Mask wearing, they said, was ill-advised because masks are petri dishes for germs and viruses that people breathe into their lungs. Doctors and medical professionals change their masks frequently because of this petrie-dish scenario. The public, however, doesn’t have access to an endless supply of disposable masks, and therefore people are sucking in the bad stuff.
In Alaska, that authority was Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s Chief Health Officer, who told the Senate Health and Social Services Committee on Feb. 12, 2020 that a person wearing a mask is breathing in a wet, moist environment collecting viruses and bacteria, and it is in general not useful for protection from other persons’ germs.
Zink said that a mask was useful for someone walking into a clinic who was coughing or sneezing, but that the N95 mask — the one that is effective — has to be fitted and tested and that the recommendation was for average persons to not wear masks because they don’t know what they are doing with them.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the same thing a month later, adding that wearing a mask might make people feel better, but isn’t providing protection. He said that people don’t wear them properly, and handle them recklessly. When asked about that statement by CBS News later in the summer, he equivocated.
“I don’t regret anything I said then because in the context of the time in which I said it, it was correct. We were told in our task force meetings that we have a serious problem with the lack of PPEs,” he said in an interview with CBS Evening News.
“In the context of the time,” is the key phrase.
To be clear, Fauci said it wasn’t good for Americans to wear masks because they did not work, only to later admit that he was really concerned about running out of masks for medical professionals. Fauci attended press White House coronavirus press briefings throughout March and April without wearing a mask.
Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, will serve President-elect Joe Biden as his chief medical adviser after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
It isn’t the first time Fauci has been caught misleading the public. Last week Fauci acknowledged that he selectively lied about the percentage of the population that must be vaccinated to halt the virus.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” Fauci told the New York Times. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”
Rather than following the science, Fauci seems to be following the surveys to gauge how willing Americans are to take his advice.
As for Alaska’s mask recommendations, an Alaska state advisory posted on April 3, 2020 recommended that people make their own cloth masks, and save the professional-grade masks for the medical professionals.
“Another tool that may help to minimize transmission while people are around others outside of their household is the use of face coverings,” the press release continued. “Because we are experiencing a nationwide shortage of medical supplies, including facemasks, we recommend that Alaskans make their own face coverings and wear them in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) — especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
According to the State press release on April 3, there was sufficient evidence showing that asymptomatic and presymptomatic people can “shed” the virus to others. It was in sharp contrast to what Dr. Zink had stated just six weeks earlier.
“This means that people who have no symptoms whatsoever may be infected with the virus and capable of transmitting the virus to others when interacting in close proximity — for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing,” the state’s press release noted. “This heightens the need for community-wide implementation of control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people who are not experiencing symptoms of illness.”
Now, scientists are questioning just how true that statement is. In Nature, scientists say evidence shows that “about one in five infected people will experience no symptoms, and they will transmit the virus to significantly fewer people than someone with symptoms. But researchers are divided about whether asymptomatic infections are acting as a ‘silent driver’ of the pandemic.”
Sen. Marco Rubio earlier this week blasted Fauci for playing fast and loose with the facts.
Rubio wrote that Americans should cease “placing blind faith in unelected celebrity scientists — elevated by a media that award Emmys to negligent politicians with their own grisly records,” in reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent Emmy Award for hosting press conferences, despite his administration forcing COVID-19 patients into nursing homes, where they infected the residents, who then died from the virus.
“I do not question Dr. Fauci’s motives — I trust they are noble — but I am appalled by his arrogance,” Rubio wrote. “If he wants to lead the nation, he should run for office. Otherwise, he should give us an honest and transparent reading of the science, not polling data, and let the rest of us — policymakers and the American people who have elected them — do our jobs.”