Fauci defends voting by mail if 'you don't want to take the chance' in person

Fauci defends voting by mail if 'you don't want to take the chance' in person
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: US coronavirus deaths hit 200,000 | Ginsburg's death puts future of ObamaCare at risk | Federal panel delays vote on initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution White House seeks to change subject from 200K COVID-19 deaths Putin calls on UN to strengthen World Health Organization MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, on Thursday invoked mail-in voting as an alternative for people who didn’t want to “take the chance” of contracting the coronavirus.

Fauci, in an exclusive conversation with National Geographic as part of its event, “Stopping Pandemics,” said he believed in-person voting could be safely done with proper precautions.

“For example, when you look at going to a grocery store now in many regions and counties and cities that are doing it correctly, they have ‘X’s every six or more feet. And it says, Don't leave this spot until the person in front of you left their spot,” Fauci said. “And you can do that, if you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don't have a crowded situation, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do that.”

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“I mean, obviously if you're a person who is compromised physically or otherwise, you don't want to take the chance,” he added. “There's the situation of mail-in voting that has been done for years in many places. So there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to vote in person or otherwise.”

In an interview with The Washington Post last week, Fauci declined to outright endorse mail-in voting, saying “that almost certainly is going to be used as a sound bite.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE has been a vocal opponent of mail-in voting, frequently invoking conspiracy theories about the practice being used to enable fraud. On Thursday, the president took it further, suggesting he would not sign off on any deal with congressional Democrats that would provide the Postal Service with enough funding for universal mail-in-voting.

"They want $25 billion for the post office. Now, they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots," Trump said. "Now in the meantime, they aren't getting there. By the way, those are just two items. But if they don't get those two items that means you can't have universal mail-in voting, because they're not equipped to have it."