Fauci, Walensky Mocked For Mixed Messages On Masks — At Hearing On Omicron

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky took some criticism Tuesday when, during a Capitol Hill hearing on potential changes to mask guidance, the two top medical experts in the nation appeared to present different messages by their own actions.

Walensky, who serves as director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wore two masks — a medical mask covered by a fabric mask — throughout the hearing, even when she was testifying and answering questions.

CDC Director Walensky is double masked while testifying before the Senate, despite being triple vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/YjfpSFfbWO

— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 11, 2022

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, opted to remove his mask at times when he was speaking.

“Dr. Fauci is maskless during testimony while Dr. Walensky double masks. The mixed messaging continues,” Dr. Nicole Saphier noted, and she was far from alone in her observation.

Politico health care reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein added, “CDC Director Walensky kept her (double) mask on while giving her testimony. Fauci has removed his.”

“Hi @CDCDirector why are you wearing a mask (2 actually) even when you talk, but fauci takes his mask off when he talks? shouldn’t you all be wearing masks when you talk because #covidisairborne what’s the science in that?” Judah Friedlander asked.

Twitchy’s Greg Pollowitz noted, “81-year-old Dr. Fauci won’t wear any mask while testifying on whether or not kids should be mandated to wear N95 masks all day long.”

81-year-old Dr. Fauci won’t wear any mask while testifying on whether or not kids should be mandated to wear N95 masks all day long.https://t.co/DxGICDMKnN

— Greg Pollowitz (@GPollowitz) January 11, 2022

Committee Chair, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), asked at the beginning of the hearing that everyone keep their face masks on throughout — regardless of whether or not they were speaking.

The overall purpose of the hearing was to discuss the possible need for additional mask guidance in response to the rapid spread of the highly-infectious Omicron variant — toward that end, the CDC is said to be considering new recommendations advising people to opt for more effective face masks whenever possible.

According to a report from The Washington Post, the CDC is expected to update the guidance for those who can tolerate higher quality masks — such as the N-95 or KN-95 masks — to say that if they can wear them safely and consistently, they should do so.

SCOOP: @CDCgov is considering recommending N95 or KN95 masks if people can wear them correctly and consistently, per a source. Me and @rachel_roubein https://t.co/8C07a0E5nQ

— LenaSun (@bylenasun) January 11, 2022

Tuesday’s hearing quickly devolved into another heated showdown between Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Fauci, with Paul accusing Fauci of using his position to shut down opposing views and smear his own colleagues. Fauci retaliated by claiming that Paul’s criticisms had inspired others to contact him and his family with death threats. Fauci also lashed out at Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), as a hot mic picked up Fauci’s post-question muttering referring to the senator as a “moron.”

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