“were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply”
One of the frustrating things about the Coronavirus Pandemic has been conflicting information. In the case of face masks, many people have noted that you’re now required to wear face masks to enter places like stores, but months ago we were told not to bother with masks.
Now we know why.
During a recent interview with The Street, Dr. Fauci explained what happened.
Mairead McArdle writes at National Review:
Fauci Confirms Public-Health Experts Downplayed Efficacy of Masks to Ensure They Would Be Available to Health-care Workers
Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, confirmed that public-health experts discouraged the public from wearing face masks towards the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak because they were concerned there would not be enough available for health-care workers.
During the early weeks of the pandemic, public-health experts “were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply,” Fauci said in an interview with TheStreet.
“We wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected,” Fauci continued.
See the clip below:
Dr. Fauci admits public health officials misled the public about the effectiveness of masks. pic.twitter.com/0qdNfy2lde
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 17, 2020
Mia Jankowicz of Business Insider provides this flashback to the early stages of the pandemic:
In January through March, as the spread of the disease became more and more serious, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actively discouraged the use of masks among the general public.
By early April, simple cloth face coverings were recommended for the general public, instead of protective personal equipment such as surgical and N95 masks, The New York Times reported.
Fauci’s comments echo those of Surgeon General Jerome Adams on March 2, when he said that the increased demand for masks was putting medical professionals at risk.
A few days earlier, he tweeted that masks were “not effective in preventing” COVID-19 in the general public, saying, “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!” He later reversed his advice.
The authorities saw what happened with toilet paper and feared the public could do the same thing with face masks.
In early April, here in Massachusetts, you couldn’t find a mask anywhere. Now, my local CVS has a bin full of them at the front of the store, right near checkout.
Add this to the politicization of the virus and the damage is done. People will be much more skeptical of the expert class going forward.
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