Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has recently voiced support for a national mask mandate. In interviews, Fauci has said that masks are effective, and that Americans should do basic things like wear masks if they don’t want to shut down. 

When pushed by CNBC’s Shepard Smith on Wednesday about whether or not we need a national mask mandate, Fauci said, “We do.”

Virus Outbreak Congress
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington.

Graeme Jennings/AP

“If we don’t get one, then I would hope that the governors and the mayors do it locally, if it’s not done nationally,” Fauci said during the televised interview.

Smith again pressed Fauci, asking: “Are you still in the president’s ear, or no? And if not, who is?” 

Fauci said he hasn’t “spoken to the president in quite a while about the situation with regard to the outbreak.” 

“But I can tell you right now, regardless of that, what we do need is adherence to – mandate or not – if mandate is needed, let’s do a [mask] mandate,” Fauci continued, before Smith interrupted him to say: “You’re the one who decides what’s needed, Dr. Fauci.” 

“It’s pretty urgent, doc,” Smith said.

“No, it is very urgent. And that’s the reason why I have been urgently saying every day that we have got to do things that have not been done uniformly and consistently throughout the country,” Fauci said. 

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