Back in February, the U.S. surgeon general sent out a tweet telling Americans to “STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!” This flies in the face of the CDC’s insistence, less than two months later that Americans should consider wearing, at the very least, cloth masks when interacting out in public.
Top infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down for an interview with The Street on Friday to explain what was going on in those early months, when government professionals, under the White House direction, began to give out what is clearly incorrect medical information about masks and their function to the general public. It turns out, our country’s lack of preparation for this pandemic, mixed in with our country’s completely incompetent and narcissistic leadership, meant that officials like Fauci felt compelled to tell half truths as damage control.
First, Dr. Fauci was asked the burning question that anyone reading this site has known the answer to for about four months now: are masks important to wear when you leave your home? “Masks are not 100% protective. However, they certainly are better than not wearing a mask. Both to prevent you, if you happen to be a person who may feel well, but has an asymptomatic infection that you don’t even know about, to prevent you from infecting someone else. But also, it can protect you a certain degree, not a hundred percent, in protecting you from getting infected from someone who, either is breathing, or coughing, or sneezing, or singing or whatever it is in which the droplets or the aerosols go out. So masks work.”
But why oh why did government health officials say it wasn’t important in February? Dr. Fauci, a considerably more diplomatic person than myself gives this explanation: “Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers who were brave enough to put themselves in harm’s way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.” Fauci has consistently been honest, while at the same time not just come out and said that the Trump administration’s handling of our public health was, is, and continues to be, a disaster.
Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California has pointed out that the U.S. government allowed our stocks of personal protective equipment (i.e. N95 masks) and medical equipment like ventilators get shipped out for profit from December through until March. This was a critical time, when health experts were warning our government to get off of their asses and begin preparing for the soon-to-be pandemic to reach our shores. This meant that officials like Fauci and others were forced to make the hard decision to hope that saving the meager reserves of PPE for frontline first responders would be more beneficial in the long run than telling the entire country to buy up nonexistent N95 masks.
Of course, now all of us taxpayers are paying out huge sums of money to any Tom, Dick, or Harry that says they can give us a ventilator or a mask, and Trump’s pay to play rule of government digs us deeper into debt.