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Former White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said Sunday that it’s likely that no federal mandates will be implemented for masks, but he suggested that recommendations may be given.

“I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used under certain circumstances and indoor crowded settings, but I don’t see there’d be certainly not federal mandates,” he told ABC News on Sunday morning, adding he would be “extremely surprised.”

“There may be local organizations that may require masks, but I think what we’re gonna see mostly are, if the cases go up that there might be recommendations, not mandates. There’s a big difference there,” Dr. Fauci continued.

The ABC host Jonathan Karl then pressed the former longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on the efficacy of wearing masks, coming three years after the start of the pandemic in the United States. He asked Dr. Fauci about several new studies suggesting that masking doesn’t contain the virus.

In response, Dr. Fauci claimed that some of the studies have been misunderstood, including a recent one published by Cochrane Library. Without providing more details, the former health official alleged that it has been “quoted a lot and causing a lot of confusion.”
Researchers in the study found that “wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID-19 like illness compared to not wearing masks.” In a subsequent statement, it said that the results were inconclusive and alleged that it didn’t show that “masks don’t work.”
But there have been hundreds of studies since 2020 that suggest or show masks do little to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Fauci and other federal officials over the years have often downplayed such findings, however, and have opted to cite studies that say masks are effective.

In the Sunday interview, once again, Dr. Fauci said that it is “absolutely not the case” that masks are ineffective. “There are a number of studies that show that masks actually do work,” he added.

His comments come after a handful of schools, colleges, businesses, hospitals, and at least one local government have reimplemented mask mandates in recent days. Last week, a school in Montgomery County, Maryland, stirred controversy by announcing it was bringing back a mask mandate for kindergarteners in a class after three students tested positive for COVID-19.

“Additional KN95 masks have been distributed and students and staff in identified classes or activities will be required to mask while in school for the next 10 days, except while eating or drinking,” Rosemary Hills School Principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy said in a letter, dated Sept. 5, announcing the mandate.

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