KEY POINTS

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was frustrating to see so many people packed closely together without masks at Trump's North Carolina rally
  • Fauci and the CDC regularly speak about the benefit wearing masks can have in curbing the pandemic
  • Trump was hesitant to promote masks and has rarely been seen wearing one 

Following President Donald Trump’s latest campaign rally in North Carolina, White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday he was frustrated watching the events because of the apparent disregard to coronavirus guidelines.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. had more than 6.35 million confirmed cases and more than 190,000 reported deaths from coronavirus.

“That situation is we want to set an example,” Fauci said. “Because we know, we know that when you do four or five typical kind of public health measures – masks, physical distance, avoid crowds, making sure you do most things outdoors instead of indoors. Those are the kind of things that turn around surges and also prevent us from getting surges. So I would definitely like to see a universal wearing of masks.”

Fauci, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regularly promote these measures as the best way of preventing possible exposure to coronavirus. While Fauci said during the pandemic’s early days masks were not necessary, he’s repeatedly owned up to those comments and is among the most vocal proponents for masks.

The CDC said in July if everyone in the U.S. wore a mask, the pandemic would be under control within two months.

“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said at the time. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families and their communities.”

However, the biggest obstacle to this appears to be President Trump, himself.

Trump is regularly seen not wearing a masks, even when out in public and during his campaign rallies. He seemed to change his messaging in July when he encouraged all Americans to wear masks, but has rarely been seen wearing one since.

It also placed him at odds with some members of the press in this week. During a White House briefing Monday, Trump asked one correspondent to take off his mask when asking a question, leading to a momentary but awkward back-and-forth. Trump would then openly thank two other reporters who took off their masks before asking questions.

Trump appeared to flout coronavirus guidelines further on Tuesday during his North Carolina rally, referrinf to it as a “peaceful protest.”

“You can’t go to church. You can’t do anything outside,” Trump said in reference to North Carolina coronavirus guidelines. “If you are willing to riot, running down the main street, if you want to riot and stand on top of each other’s face and do whatever the hell you want to do, you are allowed to do that because you are considered a peaceful protester.”

Top infectious diseases official Anthony Fauci said a safe vaccine could be available by the end of the calendar year Top infectious diseases official Anthony Fauci said a safe vaccine could be available by the end of the calendar year Photo: Pool / KEVIN DIETSCH