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Dr. Fauci: Masks Still Necessary To Prevent Asymptomatic Transmission

Dr. Anthony Fauci pushed back on the right-wing talking point from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that telling people to still wear masks is somehow muddling the message on vaccinations.
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Who needs Republicans on our airways when you've got network news hosts that can just repeat their talking points for them instead? During an interview with Dr. Anthony this Sunday, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Fauci about Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' remark that somehow the "messaging has been muddled" on coronavirus vaccinations, because people who have been vaccinated are still being asked to wear masks and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.

"He's concerned and he's not alone here—that it almost defeats the incentive to get the vaccination," Todd opined. "It shouldn't, but it can. Why does a vaccinated person have to wear a mask?"

Fauci proceeded to explain what asymptomatic spread is to Todd, and the fact that vaccinated people can still get infected with COVID. Something Todd should have been well aware of prior to even asking Fauci his question.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Okay. This is something that as we get more information it's going to be pulling back that you won't have to. But currently the reason is that when you get vaccinated, you are clearly diminishing dramatically your risk of getting infected. That's one of the things we've got to make sure everybody understands. You dramatically diminish it.

However, what happens is that you might get infected and get absolutely no symptoms, not know you're infected and then inadvertently go into a situation with vulnerable people. And if you don't have a mask, you might inadvertently infect them. Now, there's a small risk of that, but it's there.

The other thing is that there may be variants that are circulating. We know New York area has their own variant, 526. There's a South African variant. Fortunately for us, Chuck, the 117 variant that is dominant in Europe and in U.K. is also now dominant in the United States. Thank goodness the vaccine works very well against that variant.

Nearly half of the states in the U.S. reported an increase in COVID-19 cases this week, so it's obvious we've got a ways to do to get the pandemic under control, despite the record number of vaccinations across the country. Our media needs to stop helping Republicans do everything they can to make things worse, as they and Trump have done since this crisis began last year. Questioning whether masks are still necessary, when the numbers across the country are still stubbornly high, and repeating right-wing framing on this issue only helps to legitimize their dangerous talking points.

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