National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it is “quite possible” Americans will wear masks seasonally to stop the spread of respiratory-borne viruses.
Anchor Chuck Todd said, “Let’s get to mask-wearing. At what point can we stop wearing masks outside? At what point if vaccinated people, do you take the masks off? Is the mask going to be something we have with us in a seasonal aspect?”
Fauci said, “You know, that’s quite possible. I think people have gotten used to the fact that wearing masks, clearly if you look at the data, diminishes respiratory diseases. You know we’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year, merely because people were doing the kind of public health things that were directed predominantly against COVID-19. The Australians during their winter, same thing they had almost no flu largely due to the things including mask-wearing. 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 be spreading these respiratory-borne diseases.”