Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked on MSNBC if Americans who have been vaccinated can be permitted to dine out. He said no.
"Eating and drinking in indoors, in restaurants and bars, is that okay now?"
"No it's still no okay for the simple reason that the level of infection, the dynamics of infection in the community are still really disturbingly high. Like just yesterday there were close to 80,000 new infections, and we've been hanging around 60, 70, 75,000.
"So if you're not vaccinated, please get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available to you. And if you are vaccinated, please remember that you still have to be careful and not get involved in crowded situations, particularly where people are not wearing masks."
It was also in that interview that Fauci was confronted about having changed his stance on masks. The interviewer brought up questions about the "mixed messaging" that Fauci has engaged in over the past year.
Just over a year ago, Fauci gave an interview on 60 Minutes where he said that people should not be wearing masks.
In response to his past words, Fauci said "I keep seeing that clip playing over and over again... at the time three things were going on," he said. The reasons he said not to wear masks, he said, were firstly because there was a shortage of masks, and he wanted masks to be available for medical personnel.
"There was no evidence at the time that masks outside of the setting of the hospital setting worked. There were data at the time to show that," Fauci said.
"Three, we did not know that at least 50 percent of the infections were being spread asymptomatically, by people who had no symptoms. That's the reason why at that time we, I and others, made that statement."
Fauci said that it was only two months later that the opinion on masks was reversed, that there was not a mask shortage, that cloth masks "worked," and that data showed that masking helped curb infection.
Fauci has been a proponent of masking, social distancing, and vaccinations. He cautioned Americans to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, and has continued to encourage people to get vaccinated despite his assertion that a vaccine does not mean people can return to living their normal lives.
President Joe Biden has asked consistently for states to impose mask mandates and require citizens to wear the face covering when in public. Many states, however, have lifted that mandate, such as Texas, or simply never imposed it, like Florida.