Anthony Fauci has taken a tongue-lashing on social media, after photographs of the top US doctor showed him ignoring guidelines put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a key player in guiding the US response to Covid-19, enjoyed a pleasant day at the ballpark on Thursday, where he threw the ceremonial first pitch of the MLB opening day game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals. His throw was wildly off-target, sparking near-unanimous mockery of his baseball skills on Twitter. But he received equally ferocious criticism for his coronavirus etiquette while watching the game from the stadium’s empty bleachers (fans have been banned from attending games, a policy which Fauci strongly advocated for).
Photographs caught Fauci sitting between two people with his mask on his chin. The grinning doctor appears to be having a great time, even though the photographic evidence suggests that he violated his own social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
Social media backlash was swift and unforgiving.
“Showing us all he knows exactly how well masks work! Thanks for the lesson, doc,” quipped writer and former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, who has repeatedly pointed to studies and data which cast doubt on the efficacy of widespread public mask use.
And there’s Dr. Anthony Fauci showing us all he knows exactly how well masks work! Thanks for the lesson, doc. pic.twitter.com/jdHPzq5HfB
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) July 24, 2020
Amazing data here: Mexico, with essentially uncontrolled #sarscov2 spread, has the second-most mask wearing of any country; the Nordic countries, which have almost no transmission, have the least. Canada is well below the US. Because masks work! pic.twitter.com/5y9zJuFYbw
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) July 18, 2020
Others argued that Fauci had “made a mockery” of his own recommendations.
When he thinks the cameras are off, Fauci makes a mockery of his “social distancing” recommendations and proceeds to brush off his own mask advocacy.
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) July 24, 2020
Good thing Fauci wears his mask and stays 6 feet apart pic.twitter.com/idvVmolylY
— Jake Shields (@jakeshieldsajj) July 24, 2020
The photos even spawned a hashtag, #FauciTheFraud, which accompanies countless posts accusing the doctor of shedding his mask when the cameras are off.
However, some argued that nothing untoward had occurred, as Fauci was sitting next to his wife and one of his friends and would have known if they were at risk.
he’s in his bubble with his wife and friend. and there’s no one around him. this is a non issue.
— S.F. Tech Worker (@sftechworker) July 24, 2020
But this explanation contradicts Fauci’s own self-professed mask-wearing habits. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, the doctor claimed that the only time he doesn’t wear a mask is when he is at home or with his wife or speaking in public, “provided there is six feet between me and the people to whom I am speaking.” In fact, he regularly chides Americans who choose not to wear masks, or wear them incorrectly.
Many US states, as well as countries around the world, have imposed mask mandates, but Fauci himself has not always been an advocate of such policies. In a March interview, he insisted that there was no reason for seemingly healthy people to be “walking around in a mask.” At the time his views reflected a wide consensus among medical professionals and institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the US surgeon general. However, it is now recommended that masks are worn when it’s not possible to keep your distance from other people. The reason for the sudden reversal in guidance has been hotly debated. Although new studies have emerged claiming to show wide mask use could be beneficial, there may be less scientific motives. Deborah Cohen, the medical correspondent of BBC2’s Newsnight, reported earlier this month that the WHO committee reviewing the organization’s mask recommendation was motivated by political lobbying, not new evidence.
Also on rt.com
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