- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking into the efficacy of double masking, saying the additional barrier covering the nose and mouth “makes common sense” in combating the coronavirus but doesn’t yet have the data to support it.

“There is a consideration to look now at the relative efficacy of different types of masks, which the CDC is starting to look at,” Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House coronavirus response team, told The Washington Post.

Dr. Fauci said it’s “possible” the CDC will recommend people used two facial coverings for additional protection.

“The CDC is looking at doing a study of seeing whether or not two masks might be better than one,” he said. “It makes common sense that you would think — and the reason they don’t recommend it right now, it’s a science-based organization, the CDC, they make recommendations based on data and science, so that’s why they’re going to look at that particular issue.”

“But the reason why many people are using double-masking — and, in fact, you have probably have seen me wearing a double mask — is that you can make a general common-sense extrapolation: If one mask serves as a physical barrier, if you put two on, if you’re looking for enhancing the physical barrier, it makes common sense that it certainly can’t hurt and might help,” he continued.

“But it doesn’t yet reach the point of an official recommendation from the CDC because of the lack of data,” he added. “When people ask me, ‘Should I be wearing two masks?’ I say, ‘If it makes you feel better to do two masks, the chances are you’re gonna get enhanced protection, so why not go ahead and do it?’”

Dr. Fauci has made similar comments before but others say double masking could cause “more harm” if worn improperly, the New York Post reported.

Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert who was an adviser to President Biden’s transition team, told NBC News Sunday: “What we’re concerned about is that many of these face cloth coverings do already have compromised fit or filtration capacity. If you add on another mask, you may actually make it tougher for the air to move through the two-cloth area, and then at that point it causes more air to actually leak around the sides, which actually enhances your ability to get infected.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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