Fauci: Recent Easing of COVID-19 Mandates Has ‘Nothing to Do With Politics’

Fauci: Recent Easing of COVID-19 Mandates Has ‘Nothing to Do With Politics’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies at a Senate Health, Education, and Labor and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 23, 2020. (Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

White House COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci suggested that politics had little to do with decisions in recent weeks from Democrat officials to rescind COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the politics. I think it’s the different evaluation of what’s right for a particular community,” Fauci said in response to a question during an MSNBC interview on Tuesday.

States including New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Connecticut in recent days started lifting vaccine and mask mandates, prompting speculation that polling numbers may have contributed to their decisions. Several cities, including Philadelphia and Washington, also announced ends to their respective vaccine passport mandates for restaurants.

“When you use the word ‘politics,’ I’m not sure it’s that. I just think at the local level, there’s a strong feeling of needing to get back to normality,” Fauci added during the Tuesday interview. “Now, if you look at the science of it, I mean the direction is going in the right direction. Are we there yet in every single place throughout the country? I don’t believe so. But there are some places that are looking at what the trajectory is, and are saying let’s go with it.”

Data provided by Johns Hopkins University shows that nationwide, COVID-19 cases are down about 44 percent over the past week to about 151,000 per day.

“What I believe the states are doing is anticipating that we are going in the right direction and they feel they might as well just get back to trying to get back to some form of normality by pulling back on restrictions,” added Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

Critics have suggested, however, that Democrat leaders are turning away from COVID-19 rules amid fears of losing the House and Senate in the 2022 elections. Democrats currently have slim majorities in both congressional houses, and the party of the president generally loses seats during midterms.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) told NTD’s “Capitol Report” on Feb. 10 that the lifting of mandates is “political science.”

“I find it very disingenuous that all of a sudden, as we get closer to the elections and the midterms that they decide to follow the science. They’re following political science.”

A Jan. 31 Monmouth University Poll showed that 70 percent of Americans agree with the statement: “It’s time we accept that COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives.”

Other than government mandates being rescinded, several private companies have recently started doing the same.

Disney World plans to make masks optional for fully vaccinated guests from Thursday, an update on its website showed, reversing a policy introduced in mid-2021.

And Tyson Foods, one of the largest food processors in the country, lifted a mask mandate for fully vaccinated employees at some facilities on Tuesday, but those at meatpacking plants must continue wearing masks for now.

Employees at corporate offices, distribution centers, feed mills, and some production facilities inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can go maskless if state and local laws allow it, Tyson spokesman Derek Burleson said, according to Reuters.

Reuters contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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