Dr Fauci flip-flops again! Top infectious disease expert says outdoor COVID transmission is 'low' and updated mask guidelines due to be released by the CDC will exercise 'common sense'

 Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US government will soon update guidance on wearing face masks in public, and that relaxing some rules is 'common sense.' 

The nation’s top infectious disease expert said that the Centers for Disease Control will update its guidance.

‘I mean, if you are a vaccinated person, wearing a mask outdoors, I mean, obviously, the risk is minuscule.’

'Obviously the risk is really very low, particularly if you're vaccinated,' Fauci said of people conducting outdoor activities during ABC’s This Week.

When asked if the country was ‘heading towards normal,’ Fauci said that ‘in some respects, we are.’

Fauci added: ‘It really is a challenge. We have vaccines now.

The federal government will update its guidance on mask-wearing in public, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci (seen above during an appearance on ABC This Week on Sunday), who said it was ¿common sense¿ to do so as critics have accused him of flip-flopping on the issue of face coverings

The federal government will update its guidance on mask-wearing in public, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci (seen above during an appearance on ABC This Week on Sunday), who said it was ‘common sense’ to do so as critics have accused him of flip-flopping on the issue of face coverings

Outdoor diners are pictured in Los Angeles on April 22. Dr Fauci says Americans can soon expect updated CDC guidance on how Americans should behave outside to avoid COVID-19

Outdoor diners are pictured in Los Angeles on April 22. Dr Fauci says Americans can soon expect updated CDC guidance on how Americans should behave outside to avoid COVID-19

'Obviously the risk is really very low, particularly if you're vaccinated,' Fauci said of people conducting outdoor activities during ABC¿s This Week. The image above shows protesters wearing masks in Irvington, New York on Saturday

'Obviously the risk is really very low, particularly if you're vaccinated,' Fauci said of people conducting outdoor activities during ABC’s This Week. The image above shows protesters wearing masks in Irvington, New York on Saturday

FAUCI'S COMMENTS ON MASKS BEGIN AT 5:35 

‘The more we take a look at the data as it accumulates, we see it is even more effective than what the initial numbers of the clinical trial.

‘And we're doing very well.


‘We now have more than 30 per cent of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

‘More than 50 per cent of the adult population is getting at least one dose, which gives them certainly some protection, until they get the next dose.’


There are still restrictions in place for Pennsylvania, New York (pictured New Yorkers in Manhattan) and Michigan, which for the last few weeks led the daily increase in COVID-19 cases

There are still restrictions in place for Pennsylvania, New York (pictured New Yorkers in Manhattan) and Michigan, which for the last few weeks led the daily increase in COVID-19 cases

According to data from the CDC, Michigan reported 390.2 cases of the virus per 100,000 in the last seven days

According to data from the CDC, Michigan reported 390.2 cases of the virus per 100,000 in the last seven days

New York City alone has recorded 206.1 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days with the remainder of the state reported 176.4 cases per 100,000 in the last week. The state data, above, includes only the broader state; New York City's cases aren't represented

New York City alone has recorded 206.1 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days with the remainder of the state reported 176.4 cases per 100,000 in the last week. The state data, above, includes only the broader state; New York City's cases aren't represented

Texas Gov Greg Abbott ended a mask mandate on March 10 and fully reopened the state (people at a bar in Houston). In Florida, which doesn't have a mandate, Gov Ron DeSantis allowed businesses to fully reopen in September

Texas Gov Greg Abbott ended a mask mandate on March 10 and fully reopened the state (people at a bar in Houston). In Florida, which doesn't have a mandate, Gov Ron DeSantis allowed businesses to fully reopen in September

But Fauci said that ‘we’re having still about 60,000 new infections per day.’

‘That’s a precarious level, and we don’t want that to go up,’ he said.

Fauci's relatively upbeat words during his ABC interview sparked claims of another 'flip flop' from America's top infectious diseases expert.

Earlier this month, he was criticized for warning the number of new cases was at a 'disturbing' level and set to surge just days after predicting the United States successful vaccine drive would help it avoid a fourth COVID wave. 

Fauci told CNN's Anderson Cooper: 'Well, certainly, deaths are coming down, hospitalizations are coming down...but the number that is disturbing is the number of cases each day,' the director for the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.

'When we had the big spike [in the winter]...then it came back down, but now it's plateaued at a disturbingly high level...when you're at that level, there is the risk of getting a surge back up.

'It's almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that seems to want to increase.' 

Donald Trump accused Fauci of being a 'self promoter' in an excoriating statement released in March, which saw the former president lash the immunologist for taking credit for the development of vaccines.

Fauci says his push for the development of vaccines in early 2020 was 'the best decision I've ever made' in a long and storied career.

But Trump highlighted comments made by Fauci saying vaccines would take at least a year to develop, when the US ultimately approved its first shots for emergency use just nine months after American began to lock down. 

Fauci and other public health officials have been mistrusted by supporters of former President Donald Trump who accuse them of giving contradictory medical advice on the issue of masks.

A video circulating on social media shows Fauci saying ‘there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.’

Fauci also flip-flopped on masks themselves, telling a press conference in March 2020: 'There's no reason to be walking around with a mask.'

He later became an advocate for mask-wearing in public, and claimed his initial remarks had been made to try and preserve then-short supplies of masks needed by America's medical professionals. 

In the clip, Dr Fauci says ‘There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.

‘When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.

‘And, often, there are unintended consequences - people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.’

Fauci made this comment in an interview with 60 Minutes on March 8, during the early stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

The interview predates the CDC’s updated guidance on the use of face coverings.

On April 3, 2020, the CDC updated its previous advice and recommended people wear cloth face coverings ‘in public settings when around people outside their household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.’

In Florida, health officials reported 186.8 cases per 100,000 in the last week

 In Florida, health officials reported 186.8 cases per 100,000 in the last week

Texas health officials reported 70.4 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days

Texas health officials reported 70.4 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days

As Fauci told The Washington Post, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks were not recommended for the general public, as authorities were trying to prevent a mask shortage for health workers and the extent of asymptomatic spread was unknown.

As more information became available about COVID-19, health authorities and organizations around the world have changed their stance towards the impact of face masks and the spread of the disease. 

Dr Fauci was among the world's most prominent supporters of face masks to help prevent COVID infections.  

Last month, several states including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, and Kansas lifted their mask requirements as well as other restrictions on dining and outdoor gatherings.

After the mandates were lifted, Fauci said there was a risk that states were loosening restrictions prematurely.

‘Even though the decline was steep, we absolutely need to avoid the urge to say “Oh, everything is going great”,’ Fauci told NBC’s Meet the Press earlier this month.

‘When you get a plateau at a level around 60,000 new infections per day, there’s always the risk of another surge.

‘And that’s the thing we really want to avoid, because we are going in the right direction.’

Fauci said that lifting restrictions was ‘risky business’ since the case count was still quite high and that more contagious variants have emerged.

States including Texas and Florida, which have completely reopened, are reporting fewer coronavirus cases than MichiganPennsylvania and New York, which have COVID-19 restrictions and mask mandates in place, according CDC data. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott ended a mask mandate on March 10 and fully reopened the state. 

In Florida, which doesn't have a mandate, Governor Ron DeSantis allowed businesses to fully reopen in September. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis and scientists argue that masks are useless for kids
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More than 40 per cent of the population has been given at least one dose of the COVID vaccine

More than 40 per cent of the population has been given at least one dose of the COVID vaccine 


However, there are still restrictions in place for Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan, which for the last few weeks led the daily increase in COVID-19 cases. 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Michigan reported 390.2 cases of the virus per 100,000 in the last seven days. 

In Pennsylvania, health officials have reported 221.4 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days.

New York City alone has recorded 206.1 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days with the remainder of the state reported 176.4 cases per 100,000 in the last week. 

However in states where there aren't any restrictions, it appears that cases are lower. 

Texas health officials reported 70.4 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days while Florida recorded 186.8 cases per 100,000 in the last week. 

Despite the number being lower than Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York - which all have mask mandates - the Sunshine State's increase in infections keeps it in the top 10 states with the highest daily cases.  


Multiple variants of the coronavirus have been blamed on increasing cases in states like Michigan. 

Michigan has become the current national hotspot for COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations at a time when more than half the US adult population has been vaccinated and other states have seen the virus diminish substantially.

Doctors, medical professionals and public health officials point to a number of factors that explain how the situation has gotten so bad in Michigan. 

More contagious variants, especially the mutation first discovered in Britain, have taken root here with greater prevalence than other states. 

Residents have emerged from harsh, lengthy state restrictions on dining and crowd sizes and abandoned mask wearing and social distancing, especially in rural, northern parts of the state that had largely avoided severe outbreaks. The state has also had average vaccine compliance.

Michigan has recorded a highest-in-the-nation 91,000 new COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, despite improvements in the numbers in recent days. By comparison, that is more cases than California and Texas had combined in the same period.

Beaumont Health, a major hospital system in Michigan, recently warned that its hospitals and staff had hit critical capacity levels. 

COVID-19 patient numbers across the eight-hospital health system jumped from 128 on February 28 to more than 800 patients.

'A year ago, the phrase was tsunami,' said Dr Paul Bozyk, assistant chief of critical care and pulmonary medicine at Beaumont Royal Oak. 

'It was chaotic. People were overwhelmed with what they were seeing: Death and dying. This year, it's more of a slow, rising flood. No big surge of patients, but we keep getting more each day. We're full.'

Detroit was an early epicenter a year ago when the virus first arrived in the US, prompting aggressive measures by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer to stop the spread. 


That made her a target of Donald Trump and right-wing protesters who vilified her as the epitome of government overreach in a year when Michigan played a pivotal role in the presidential election.

Toni Schmittling, a nurse anesthetist who works at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, says that when Detroit was hard-hit and her hospital had to double-up ventilator patients in one room, the rest of Michigan was wondering why restrictions were needed.

'We'd say, "Are you kidding me, people are dying right and left here,"' Schmittling said.

Now, cases are more spread out and rural areas are getting hit hard. At Sinai-Grace, Beaumont Royal Oak and other hospitals across the US, patients are younger than before, in their 30s to 50s, but don't seem to get quite as sick.

Dr Mark Hamed, medical director in the emergency department at McKenzie Hospital in Sandusky, Michigan, and for several counties in the state's northern region, says the area was spared from rampant COVID-19 last year and that may have created a false sense of security, especially among the region's farmers and blue-collar workers who suffered economically from the pandemic and already were feeling COVID fatigue.

'Businesses weren't really enforcing mask-wearing,' and many people in the region shunned them anyway, he said.

Now, with variants spreading and many people still unvaccinated, his area 'is being hit pretty hard,' Hamed said. 'Our ER is absolutely swamped beyond belief.'

The current surge has left medical staff beleaguered. Unlike their colleagues in other states where the virus is relatively under control, Michigan doctors and nurses are enduring another crisis - more than a full year after hospitals in Detroit were besieged.

'We start to gain some hope when the plateau hits and then here we are with another surge,' said Lizzie Smagala, a registered nurse in Beaumont Royal Oak's medical ICU, where masked-up hospital personnel quietly and methodically tend to the sick.'

'I think the people on the outside of our situation don't understand the depths of what we're going through, how long we've been going through it here in the hospital and that COVID's not really ever left.'

Vaccine hesitancy has also been an issue in Michigan. About 40 per cent of the state has received at least one vaccine dose - about the same as the national average. 

About 28 per cent of city residents 16 and older in Detroit have received at least one dose of vaccine. 

The city is planning to go door-to-door to urge people to get vaccine doses - many of which are manufactured in Michigan at Pfizer's plant near Kalamazoo. 

Dr Fauci flip-flops again! Top infectious disease expert says outdoor COVID transmission is 'low' and updated mask guidelines due to be released by the CDC will exercise 'common sense' Dr Fauci flip-flops again! Top infectious disease expert says outdoor COVID transmission is 'low' and updated mask guidelines due to be released by the CDC will exercise 'common sense' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:44 Rating: 5

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