Americans should care less whether or not someone else chooses to mask in any setting. However, when the President’s top medical advisor on COVID-19 and the responsible party for restrictive mandates is involved, they have a right to take notice of hypocrisy in words and actions.
As worries increase over the rapid spread of Omicron in the United States, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci once again endorsed the need for masking on airplanes during his appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” Regarding the long-standing federal mandate for masking on planes, Fauci said, “We want to make sure people keep their masks on. I think the idea of taking masks off, in my mind, is really not something we should even be considering…”
The show’s host, Jonathan Karl, alluded to recent comments made earlier in the month by the CEOs of two major airlines. During a Senate hearing earlier this month, CEO Gary Kelly of Southwest stated, “I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment. It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.” Both CEOs referenced the function of high-grade HEPA air filters and their capture of airborne contamination, along with frequent exchange of fresh air from outside the cabin. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker remarked also, “I concur. An aircraft is the safest place you can be,” said Parker. “It’s true of all of our aircraft — they all have the same HEPA filters and airflow.”
Despite this, Fauci would have airline passengers continue masking on planes for the foreseeable future, citing the newest variant, Omicron, as cause for concern. The current federal mandate remains in effect through March of 2022 unless further extended.
Fauci’s continued commitment to masking indoors ironically comes after he was reportedly spotted last month at a party in a café in Washington D.C. with a mask in hand and not on his face. According to Politico, Fauci masked around those he didn’t know and removed his mask around those he did.
Americans may choose not to pay attention to a seemingly innocuous choice to unmask at a private function… however, when the person in question is none other than the chief medical authority for vaccine and mask mandates, hypocrisy is indeed newsworthy.