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Deposition reveals Fauci was early opponent of masking during pandemic

"Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected, rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection," the email stated. "The typical mask you buy in the drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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In a full transcript of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s deposition in the ongoing case regarding social media censorship released on Monday, it was revealed that the outgoing NIAID director initially opposed wearing masks shortly before the pandemic began spreading across America.

Toward the end of the hours-long deposition on November 23, attorney D. John Sauer noted an email from Sylvia Burwell, former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, asking Fauci in February of 2020 if she should be wearing a mask in the airport.

"Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected, rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection," the email stated. "The typical mask you buy in the drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keeping out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you. I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you’re going to a low risk location."

Sauer asked if Fauci recalled making this recommendation, to which Fauci stated, "I don’t recall. I mean, these things — thousands of things happen. If you show me an e-mail that has my name and the proper identification and I said that, I would not argue with you. It would not be out of the question that at that time in the outbreak, I would have said that."

Sauer continued on to say that Fauci generally recommended against masks in the early months leading up to the pandemic, only beginning to recommend them in April of that year.

"In the very early months prior to our understanding of the virus and its modality of transmission, I, the surgeon general, and the CDC were not recommending masks for people for three reasons," he said.

Fauci stated that these reasons were first, that there was a point where these masks were short in supply and a run on them by the general population could be bad for hospitals and healthcare workers, that "there was no evidence at the time or any studies that showed outside of the medical environment… that masks actually worked in protecting transmission or acquisition," and "we were not aware at the time that 50 to 60 percent of the transmission occur from someone who is without symptoms."

Fauci said that these three reasons were why initially, masks were not recommended for the general population and that shifts in research and evidence led to the eventual recommendation of masking, which turned into mandates in most of the country.

The deposition comes as part of a social media censorship lawsuit brought forth by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry earlier this year alleged that key figures in the Biden administration, including President Joe Biden himself, "have colluded with and/or coerced social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms by labeling the content 'dis-information,’ 'mis-information,' and 'mal-information.'"

Topics include the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, talk of the Covid-19 lab leak theory, questioning the efficacy of masks and lockdowns, and the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Fauci is one of many key Biden administration figures deposed in the lawsuit.

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