President Biden’s chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anothony Fauci, during an appearance on Aug. 9 at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center campus in Seattle, expressed confusion about why some Americans are opposed to both forced masking and inoculation against COVID-19.
During the event Fauci remarked, “When you tell people they need to mask in an indoor congregate setting when you’re in a zone that has a high dynamic of infection — that is looked upon by a lot of people, not everybody, as an encroachment on your freedom,” he said adding that, “We’ve never had that before. It’s almost inexplicable.”
The comments come as Florida and other states begin to target mask requirements.
Earlier this week, Florida State Attorney General Ashley Moody, and a slew of other Republican politicians, asked an appeals court to uphold a Florida federal judge’s ruling that blocked a mask requirement on airplanes, and other transportation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a brief, filed by officials from 23 states, mask requirements were described by the officials as government “overreach” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CBS News reported.
In April this year, Tampa-based U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down a controversial mask mandate for passengers of planes, trains and buses which prompted federal officials to stop enforcing the requirement. The CDC appealed the ruling to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition, 17 members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, including Brian Mast and Bill Posey, both Florida Congressmen, asked for approval on Aug. 8 to file a brief in support of Mizelle’s ruling also alleging that the CDC had overstepped its authority in instating a mask mandate.
“In particular, (the members of Congress) take the position that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked congressional authority to enact and implement the mandate via the statutes it cites as granting it authority to do so,” lawyers for the U.S. House and Senate members wrote according to CBS News.
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During his appearance, Fauci expressed confusion over the low uptake of the COVID-19 booster shots saying “We have 67% of our population vaccinated. Of those, one half are boosted. That means a third of the people in the country are vaccinated and properly boosted. How could that possibly be when you have a disease that’s killed one million Americans and you have a hesitancy to use life-saving intervention which is a vaccine and a booster?”
“It seems like — what world are we living in?” Fauci exclaimed.
Currently, cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have remained relatively steady over the last several months with between 300-400 cases per million people compared to mid-January when the U.S. was recording 2,396 cases per million, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Deaths due to the disease have stayed below 1.70 deaths per million since April of this year.