Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House coronavirus adviser, recently said on the “Today” show that “it is risky” to open up businesses at full capacity and to end mask mandates right now amid the pandemic.

  • “We’ve got to be careful. At minimum, people need to continue to wear masks.”
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Fauci said the coronavirus is still spreading throughout the United States. The virus still exists even though multiple vaccines have started to roll out and case numbers are lower than in the winter months.

  • “When you get down to a plateau that’s as high as it is … the virus is still very much circulating in the community.”
  • “There is light at the end of the tunnel … but we’ve got to keep putting our foot to the pedal when it comes to public health measures.”

Context

Fauci’s comments come as Texas ended its face mask mandate amid the coronavirus pandemic, which I wrote about for the Deseret News. The decision to end statewide mask mandates hasn’t sat well with experts, who still recommend wearing masks and practicing physical distancing.

  • “We are supporting that the governor does say just stopping the mandates does not end personal responsibility,” Texas Medical Association President Dr. Diana Fite told The Texas Tribune. “We are highly recommending that people need to follow the science, they need to follow what the CDC recommends at this point ... and those who are the categories that can get vaccinated need to do that as soon as possible.”
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Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN it is not a good idea to end mask mandates right now.

  • “I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,” she said.