Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate

The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: White House seeks to clarify press release claiming pandemic over | Fauci: COVID vaccine likely not available until next year Fauci: COVID-19 vaccine likely not available until next year Kushner told Woodward in April Trump was ‘getting the country back from the doctors’ MORE, expressed support for a national mask mandate in an interview late Wednesday with CNBC.

Fauci explained that the U.S. rate of new coronavirus infections is trending in the wrong direction, adding that mask mandates are likely the only option to slow the spread.

“You know, yes,” he said when asked if a national mandate is needed. “If we don’t get one, then I would hope that the governors and the mayors do it locally, if it’s not done nationally.”

“This is going to get worse because we’re going more into a colder season, as we get through the fall and into the winter with the holiday season going, we’ve got to do something different. We can’t just let this happen,” Fauci continued.

Fauci also said, however, that he did not think the Trump White House would issue a national mask mandate.

“You’re using the word ‘mandating masks’ – yes if that works, let’s do it. I don’t think it’s going to happen nationally,” he said. “It may not come from the White House to do it and if it doesn’t, then I think that the mayors and the governors should do it.”

President Trump has resisted the idea of national mandates and criticized Fauci personally in recent weeks, telling supporters that his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillary Clinton responds to Chrissy Teigen tweet: ‘I love you back’ Supreme Court rejects Trump effort to shorten North Carolina mail-ballot deadline Overnight Defense: Trump campaign’s use of military helicopter raises ethics concerns | Air Force jets intercept aircraft over Trump rally | Senators introduce bill to expand visa screenings MORE, would follow the doctor’s advice.

“He wants to listen to Dr. Fauci,” Trump said at a rally this month. “He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression.”

Biden responded to the story on Twitter with a simple tweet: “…yes.”

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