Dr. Fauci to Protesters: ‘Wear a Mask’ (Video)

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases spoke to Vice about the risk of infection amid the current unrest

Dr. Anthony Fauci says “the least” protesters “can do is to consistently wear a mask.”

The director of the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the public face of the White House’s coronavirus task force spoke to Vice TV for an episode of “Shelter in Place” that premieres Thursday night.

Congregating in a crowd, as protesters have been in the past month amid unrest over systemic racism, increases the risk of infection transmission, he said.

He went on, “This is particularly true if you don’t wear a mask. Now we know that things like people demonstrating for things that they feel strongly about for issues of social injustice, which are very valid.  Whatever you congregating for and you don’t pay attention to physical distancing, you’re increasing the risk of infection. If that is the case, which is not optimal, but if it is the case, the least you can do is to consistently wear a mask.”

In the conversation with Vice Media Group founder Shane Smith, Fauci added, “And when dynamics of where you are leads to a lot of animation, a lot of chanting, a lot of screaming, please don’t tempt yourself to pull your mask down. Leave your mask on, because we know from scientific studies that when you shout or when you sing or when you do it, you have aerosols that go out. Best game. Don’t go to a crowded place. Second best. Wear a mask if you do and you feel compelled to do it.”

The full episode airs Thursday at 10:30 ET/PT on Vice TV.