Fauci also addressed a January 2023 Cochrane study that questioned the efficacy of masks. He argued that while the data might not strongly support the impact of masks on the pandemic at large, numerous studies indicate that masks offer individual protection.
The interview comes at a time when COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise, although the numbers are significantly lower than the peak in January 2023. Dr. Marc Siegel, a Fox News medical contributor, criticized Fauci’s stance, stating that broad recommendations are ineffective. Siegel also expressed concerns about the negative impact of masks on children’s socialization and learning.
The CDC’s most recent mask order, requiring face coverings on public transportation, expired in May following the end of the COVID public health emergency. Despite the absence of state-level mandates, several institutions, including hospitals and schools, have reinstated mask requirements.