“It’s a danger to the people who are trying to control the demonstration, and it’s a danger to the people who are demonstrating. So at the end of the day, it is a risky procedure,” Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC News’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, referring to the recent protests over the death of George Floyd.
“If you’re going to be in a situation where, beyond your control, there’s a lot of people around you, make sure you wear a mask,” he added.
When asked whether the advice applies to campaign rallies, such as those that President Donald Trump plans to hold, Fauci said yes.
“I am consistent, I stick by what I say,” Fauci said.
Fauci said that the best way to avoid acquiring or transmitting infection is to “avoid crowded places, to wear a mask whenever you’re outside.”
“And if you can do both, avoid the congregation of people and do the mask, that’s great,” he added.
Trump is set to hold a rally next Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at an indoor venue, the first rally in months.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on Friday that encouraged people to use cloth face coverings at indoor or outdoor events or gatherings, and “strongly encouraged” them to wear the cloth coverings “in settings where individuals might raise their voice (e.g., shouting, chanting, singing).”
Fauci told the news station that he still has routine meetings with public health officials, and still meets with the president, but less frequently.
He added that he believes a vaccine will be available by the end of the year.
“My message is for people to please hang in there. We will get through this. This will end. It will end with a combination of public health measures and ultimately science coming in and getting durable solutions such as treatments and vaccines,” Fauci said.
He expressed less confidence at the thought of a vaccine approved by China, compared to the United States or European countries.
“I know from experience that the material that has come out of there has been material that has not been first rate,” he said, later adding, “I don’t have the confidence [in the Chinese regime] that I have in our own regulatory authorities or in the European regulatory authorities.”