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Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate

Fauci expresses support for national mask mandate
© Washington Examiner/Pool

The nation's top infectious disease expert, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci urges Americans to conduct 'risk-benefit assessment' before holiday travel Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday Fauci: 'We're in a very difficult situation at all levels' but 'help is on the way' MORE, expressed support for a national mask mandate in an interview late Wednesday with CNBC.

Fauci explained that the U.S. rate of new coronavirus infections is trending in the wrong direction, adding that mask mandates are likely the only option to slow the spread.

"You know, yes," he said when asked if a national mandate is needed. "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."

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"This is going to get worse because we’re going more into a colder season, as we get through the fall and into the winter with the holiday season going, we’ve got to do something different. We can’t just let this happen," Fauci continued.

Fauci also said, however, that he did not think the Trump White House would issue a national mask mandate.

"You’re using the word 'mandating masks' — yes if that works, let’s do it. I don’t think it’s going to happen nationally," he said. "It may not come from the White House to do it and if it doesn’t, then I think that the mayors and the governors should do it."

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President Trump has resisted the idea of national mandates and criticized Fauci personally in recent weeks, telling supporters that his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE, would follow the doctor's advice.

“He wants to listen to Dr. Fauci," Trump said at a rally this month. "He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression.”

Biden responded to the story on Twitter with a simple tweet: "...yes."