Fauci advocates mask mandate amid COVID-19 surge across US

The country is gearing up to enter a winter surge, according to Fauci

On Friday, top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested it might be time for face coverings to be made mandatory to stop the spread of the virus.

“Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett during an interview.

Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, testifies at a Senate Health, Education, and Labor and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill, on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images)

But in the past Fauci has said that he didn’t think a federal law forcing citizens to wear masks would be the way to go. “I don’t like to be the authoritarian from the federal government, but at the local level, if governors and others essentially mandate the use of masks when you have an outbreak, I think that would be very important,” Fauci told Alabama Sen. Doug Jones during a Facebook Live event in July.

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According to CNN, coronavirus cases have worsened across the United States, rising in 32 states Friday and holding steady in 17 more. New infections surpassed the country’s previous highest daily total. There were 75,000 cases in a single day on Friday and more than 800 deaths were reported.

As the country gears up to enter a winter surge, Fauci said, “Mask mandates might be tricky to enforce, but it might be time to call for them.”

Fauci went on to say, “There’s going to be a difficulty enforcing it, but if everyone agrees that this is something that’s important and they mandate it and everyone pulls together and says, you know, we’re going to mandate it, but let’s just do it, I think that would be a great idea to have everybody do it uniformly.”

Read More: CDC chief warns of second, more severe coronavirus outbreak this winter

He further commented that one of the arguments he hears against mask mandates is that enforcing it would create more of an issue.

Adding to the challenge, officials say that with colder weather setting in, indoor family gatherings are becoming a significant reason why cases are on the rise throughout the US.

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