Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases testifies at the Home Choice Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 15, 2021.

Susan Walsh | Swimming Pool | Reuters

WASHINGTON – White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that people may decide to wear masks during certain seasons when respiratory illnesses are more common.

“I think people are used to wearing masks, obviously if you look at the data it reduces respiratory illnesses, we’ve actually had a flu season this year that didn’t exist just because people are doing things for public health, Fauci said in an interview on NBC’s Sunday program “Meet the Press.”

“So it’s conceivable that as we go on a year or two from now that during certain seasonal times when you get a respiratory virus like the flu, people have may actually choose to wear a mask to reduce the chance that you will spread these things, he added.

Fauci’s comments come less than a month after the Biden administration announced the relaxation of federal public health guidance on wearing masks outdoors.

Visitors walk past a sign asking to wear masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during Memorial Day weekend in Bethany Beach, Delaware, May 24, 2020.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who are fully immunized can exercise and participate in small gatherings outside without wearing a mask. The agency still recommends that people who are fully vaccinated should wear masks outdoors when in crowded areas.

“We’re at a point where we can now and begin to lift these orders and allow people to resume their normal activities. Certainly, outdoors, we shouldn’t put limits on gatherings. practice more and we should encourage people to go out,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CBS’s Sunday program “Face the Nation.”

Gottlieb added that indoor public health measures should also be relaxed in states with low rates of coronavirus infection and high vaccination rates.

“Covid isn’t going away, we’re going to have to learn to live with it but the risk has been greatly reduced by vaccination and by the immunity that people get through previous infection,” Gottlieb said.

As of Saturday, more than 45% of the US population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, including 33.9% who were fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.

Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and board member of Pfizer, gene-testing startup Tempus, and biotech company Illumina. Pfizer has a production agreement with gilead shirt for remdesivir. Gottlieb is also the co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘ and Royal Caribbean“The Healthy Sail Dashboard.”


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