Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed Wednesday people must wear masks in public to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic and said he is not opposed to making face coverings mandatory amid the ongoing public health crisis.
“I am not totally against mandating, but I don’t want to step on the toes of people in their independent way that they run their states and their cities,” Dr. Fauci said during an interview on MSNBC.
“But clearly, the bottom line, without any distraction, is that it is very important for people to universally wear masks, and there’s no ambiguity about that statement. They just have got to do it,” added Dr. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House task force leading the administration’s medical response to the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19, the contagious disease caused by the coronavirus, can be spread from person to person when an infected carrier talks, coughs or sneezes, making face masks critical to mitigating the outbreak.
A number of localities throughout the country are accordingly requiring that people wear face masks in public, and major retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy have recently made them mandatory for customers.
Roughly three-fourths of Americans believe that businesses should “exact and enforce” policies requiring masks, according to the results of a recent survey published this week by The Harris Poll.