A top U.S. medical adviser during the Trump and Biden administrations told a woman in early 2020 that masks one buys from drug stores had little effectiveness against the virus that causes COVID-19.
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the woman in an email dated Feb. 5, 2020.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Fauci also told the woman, Sylvia Burwell, that masks “are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infections.”
“I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a ve[r]y low risk location. Your instincts are correct, money is best spent on medical countermeasures such as diagnostics and vaccines,” he added.
The email was one of the thousands obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed News. The outlet published the emails online. Fauci’s agency did not respond to a request for comment.
Other messages also dealt with masks.
Also in February 2020, Fauci told a Greek reporter that “the vast majority of people outside of China do not need to wear a mask,” adding, “A mask is more appropriate for someone who is infected than for people trying to protect against infection.”
In several emails, Fauci indicated that healthcare workers should wear N95 masks, which are much better than regular masks.
“Transmission is similar to influenza: respiratory droplets and likely a bit more as aerosol than with influenza. People can transmit even when they are asymptomatic,” he told Robert Geller, vice president at the FHN Family Healthcare Center in Illinois, on March 1.