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Defending his stance that appealing the federal mask mandate should have been a CDC decision, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci explained it’s a matter of “principle” on “Cavuto: Live” Saturday.
“The point that I was making [was] that this is a public health decision, and I think it’s a bad precedent when decisions about public health issues are made by people, be they judges or what have you, that don’t have experience or expertise in public health,” Fauci told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.
Fauci clarified comments made on Thursday about a U.S. district court judge striking down the travel mask mandate, noting while he respects judicial decisions, “this is a public health issue.”
“I wasn’t at all defying the authority of a judge because when the judge makes a decision, you abide by that decision,” Fauci said. “I was concerned about the principle of having nonpublic health people making public health decisions.”
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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director maintained mask mandates should be a CDC decision.
“The CDC has a very large number of experienced scientists and epidemiologists that make those judgments based on the dynamics of the outbreak on the ground and other considerations that they make,” Fauci said.
When asked about the Supreme Court previously striking down President Biden’s eviction moratorium ruling amid the pandemic and why Fauci didn’t vouch then for deferment to a health entity, the health expert was unable to explain.
“I’m not trying to evade your question, but I have not been involved in looking at the details of that,” Fauci said. “I would have to really go back and take a look at that before I make any statement about evictions.”
Fauci admitted he’s unsure what kind of “ultimate” conclusion the CDC will come to.
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“We’re starting to see a blip up in cases,” Fauci pointed out. “And what the CDC is trying to determine, is that going to be reflected in an increase in hospitalizations? Which is the new metric that they’re using about making their determinations about requirements for masks in indoor settings, as well as in places like transportation.”
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Responding to whether he’d advise a potential new Trump administration in 2024, Fauci maintained his position is not “political” and said he stays completely “out of politics” – though the expert has frequently feuded with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and other Republicans on the congressional stage.
“I run an institute that has a major role in the development of countermeasures and doing the science against these types of emerging infections,” Fauci said. “That has never been dependent on who was in office in the presidency or who controlled the Congress.”