Fauci Finally Admits Mask Mandates Don't Work, Says '10 Percent' Effective In New York Times Piece

Over the past three years, Dr. Fauci has been the face of masks and their associated mandates.

Fauci initially told the public, confidently, that masks were ineffective and unnecessary. In doing so, he followed years of scientific evidence and research that confirmed masks were ineffective when worn by the general population.

But just a few weeks later, with no new randomized controlled trials, no new data or evidence to justify it, he completely flip flopped.

Masks instantly became a vitally important, necessary tool to prevent the spread of COVID. First, he claimed that they were meant as source control, to stop people from infecting others.

Then, he said that masks were protective for the wearer as well. All based on low quality evidence that intellectually honest observers would safely disregard.

After reality continually proved him wrong, he then moved to recommending that the public should wear two masks.

He provided no evidence for that claim, only that it was "common sense" and would "likely" be more effective.

Fauci defended indefinite mandates, saying he disagreed with people who believed masking should be a choice. He defended forcibly masking children, based on nothing but his immense desire to compel behavior.

But now that mandates are over and he's moved on to the next phase of his career, profiteering from his objectively disgraceful performance during the pandemic, the truth can be told, apparently.

Fauci Always Blames Others

The New York Times in their role as one of Fauci's chief promoters, has previously given him the opportunity for him to defend himself.


While the interviewer, David Wallace-Wells did push back on Fauci at times, the discussion mostly serves as a vehicle for Fauci to criticize states, politicians and individuals for not listening to his advice.

For example, Fauci expresses exasperation and inaccuracies about death rates between Republicans and Democrats. Naturally, he blames it on poor vaccination rates.

"I mean, only 68 percent of the country is vaccinated. If you rank us among both developed and developing countries, we do really poorly. We’re not even in the top 10. We’re way down there. And then: Why do you have red states that are unvaccinated and blue states that are vaccinated? Why do you have death rates among Republicans that are higher than death rates among Democrats and independents? It should never ever be that way when you’re dealing with a public-health crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in over a hundred years," Fauci said.

This, of course, ignores that highly vaccinated countries with vastly different political systems have seen explosions in COVID-related and all cause deaths despite much higher compliance.

New Zealand, for example, with one of the world's highest vaccination and booster rates, saw all cause mortality skyrocket in 2022. The population adjusted rate was by far the highest it'd been in the previous 20 years, regardless of vaccination.

But that's just one part of the inaccurate assessments made in the piece. Another infuriating aspect of the interview is that he once again, changed his story.

Too Many Contradictions To Remember

Just recently, Fauci said he wished we'd coerced the public into wearing masks earlier, despite the lack of supporting evidence, then or now.


Yet during this interview, he admitted that masks are not effective at a population level.

When asked about it, he responded that the effect size at a population level is minimal.

"From a broad public-health standpoint, at the population level, masks work at the margins — maybe 10 percent," Fauci explained.

Wait, what now?

From saying we should have all worn masks earlier in the pandemic, to now admitting that, at best, they're about 10 percent effective in the general public?

There's no evidence that they're even 10 percent effective, but even allowing for that, the tremendous harms of mask wearing would far outweigh any marginal benefit.

Especially considering that COVID is endemic and will be contracted by everyone, regardless of what they do. And that his assertions were used to forcibly mask children for years, a practice that somehow still continues in defiance of reality.

Fauci then contradicts himself, again, saying that at an individual level, high quality masks are effective.

"But for an individual who religiously wears a mask, a well-fitted KN95 or N95, it’s not at the margin. It really does work," he claimed.

There is no evidence that this statement is true, and much to suggest that it isn't. But that also stands in direct opposition to what he's previously said.

He himself wore cloth masks and repeatedly told the public that using anything of any fabric would be effective. Now he's limiting it to only claiming a "well-fitted KN95 or N95" is effective?

That's an absurd deflection that stands in direct opposition to his earlier statements. Although based on his track record, it's not surprising.

Fauci Should Never Have Had The Power He Wielded

This interview shows yet again why Fauci should have been completely ignored.

Mask mandates were imposed, people were fired, punished and excluded based on his claims that masks were effective and protective.

Now, after the fact, he's reduced his estimates to "maybe" 10% effectiveness.

He's lied and contradicted himself so many times that even he can't remember what his current position is.

Fauci is, and always was, a politician. He's a government bureaucrat who took advantage of the ability to wield influence, power and indulge authoritarian impulses latent in public health.

His dictates were often based on wishful thinking, delusional misrepresentations, and over-reliance on poor quality evidence ignored by other countries. Fauci divided the country politically and contributed to the mass distrust of public health by blaming and shaming.

The media and institutional left grasped on to his every word, every thought, because it contradicted Donald Trump.

Even as his mandates clearly and obviously failed, they refused to abandon him.

But to Fauci, who described himself as representing the very concept of "science," anything he said must be true, because he said it.

This embarrassing retraction serves as yet another reminder that those who the media presents as infallible are often the most catastrophically wrong. Fauci was wrong about masks, as he was about many other important issues.

And even if he himself wasn't even aware that the interview served as a retraction, it served as an admission of guilt.

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Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC