Fauci says Americans will ‘soon’ be free to take off masks indoors

Federal advice on wearing masks indoors might be eased soon as vaccination rate increases across the country

Clara Hill
Monday 10 May 2021 13:40
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America may soon relax rules on wearing face masks indoors, according to Dr Anthony Fauci.

In an appearance on ABC News on Sunday, Dr Fauci said the lessening mask rules were inevitable as more Americans get Covid shots.

“I think so. I think you’re going to probably be seeing that as we go along and as more people get vaccinated,” he said.

Regulations intended to combat the coronavirus pandemic have been easing across the US. Much of the impetus behind these changes has been in line with the national vaccine rollout.

Last month, the CDC loosened its rules on wearing masks outside but still proposes people wear face masks in indoor public spaces, such as movie theatres, shopping centres and galleries.

“I hope that next Mother’s Day, we’re going to see a dramatic difference,” Dr Fauci continued. “I believe we will be about as close as back to normal as we can.”

He did say that there were things that needed to be done before this could be achieved.

“We’ve got to make sure that we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. When that happens, the virus doesn’t really have a place to go,” he said. “You’re not going to see a surge. You’re not going to see the numbers we have now.”

On NBC’s Meet The Press, he spoke about the potential for mask wearing during certain periods, such as during seasonal outbreaks of flu, which thanks to social distancing and masks have been at record lows.

“So it is conceivable that as we go on a year or two or more from now that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory born diseases.”

Officials from the Biden administration also spoke to the press about the urgent need for all Americans to get their shots, such as White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients who appeared on CNN’s State of The Union.

“We’re at 58 per cent today. So we’ve got a path ahead of us,” he told host Jake Tapper.

Biden has a Covid vaccine target of 70% by July 4.

Zients also urged Americans to keep wearing masks indoors until the CDC officially changes the guidance.

“We all want to go back to a normal lifestyle. I think we we’re on a path to do that, but stay disciplined, and let’s take advantage of the new privileges of being vaccinated and not wearing masks outdoors for example, unless you’re in a crowded place.”

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