Former Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci knew as early as October 2020 that masking was ineffective at preventing the transmission of Covid-19 after he read a Federalist article about it, emails obtained by the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) and shared with The Federalist reveal.
Despite showing awareness of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study — which showed a majority of Covid patients in the study became ill despite always wearing face coverings — and The Federalist’s reporting on it, Fauci published a paper weeks after the story that made no mention of masks’ shortcomings. In fact, for two more years, Fauci demanded universal masking and encouraged mandates requiring face coverings despite their uselessness.
The Federalist article in question was published on On Oct. 12, 2020, under the headline “CDC Study Finds Overwhelming Majority Of People Getting Coronavirus Wore Masks.” The story featured the CDC study, which was conducted in July 2020 but not released until that September, that compared 154 “case-patients” who tested positive for Covid-19 to 160 “control participants” who were symptomatic but ultimately tested negative for the virus.
Researchers tried to use the data to convince the public that “Exposures and activities where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to places that offer on-site eating or drinking, might be important risk factors for acquiring COVID-19.” Yet a majority of case patients (71 percent) and control participants (74 percent) “reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public” in the weeks leading up to their illness.
The CDC was forced to concede that, despite its best efforts to blame the spread of the virus on those who maintained public participation with little-to-no masking, “direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance.”
The same day The Federalist published the article outlining the damning evidence against masks, Fauci’s Chief of Staff Greg Folkers emailed the story’s text to the NIAID director.
“Not good for our paper,” Fauci admitted in his reply, which looped in NIAID staffer Andrea Lerner.
During this time, Fauci and his NIAID team couldn’t get their story straight on masking — telling the public masking was essential but acknowledging in private that the science didn’t support their narrative. For instance, days before he was sent The Federalist article, Fauci publicly declared that the data on masks “speak for themselves.”
“We had a super-spreader event in the White House and it was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks. So the data speak for themselves,” he told CBS.
Yet on Oct. 12, even before Fauci’s staff flagged The Federalist story, Lerner warned her colleagues that the research data they wanted to include in their paper about masks “protecting individuals in the community” was actually “weak.”
“In addition, most of the studies in the review involved medical masks–not the cloth masks that are currently recommended (and CDC advises the public to avoid surgical masks and N95s intended for healthcare workers),” Lerner wrote.
Around the same time the Federalist article was published, Fauci, Folkers, and Lerner were busy working on their aforementioned “viewpoint” paper that claimed the nation’s “return to normalcy” was contingent upon the “widespread acceptance and adoption of mask wearing and other inexpensive and effective interventions as part of the COVID-19 prevention toolbox.”
Emails reveal the paper was solicited by Howard Bauchner, the then-editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association and its network.
“A request has come in to have ‘Dr. Fauci write a VP about the importance of masking’ — for the record. Obviously aware of the tug and war ongoing. Your call. The twist could be that masking will be important even after vaccination begins,” Bauchner wrote in an Oct. 1, 2020 email to Fauci.
When The Federalist article came across his desk, Fauci acknowledged the CDC’s findings ran counter to his mask push. Yet exactly two weeks after admitting the data threatened his preferred narrative, JAMA published Fauci’s article titled, “Preventing the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 With Masks and Other ‘Low-tech’ Interventions.”
Fauci would have had plenty of time to update the paper with the latest masking findings since JAMA did not send him his page proof until Oct. 21.
Instead of acknowledging the critical information undermining his previously held masking narrative, however, Fauci doubled down.
In the published paper, he insisted that “to safely reopen businesses, schools, and other facets of society, mask use in the community to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, in conjunction with other low-cost, low-tech, commonsense public health practices, is and will remain critical.” To bolster his point, Fauci touted now-debunked data to suggest that mask mandates “have been associated with a decline in the daily growth rate of COVID-19 cases in the US.”
“During the pandemic, Dr. Fauci was the face of the United States’ medical and scientific struggle against COVID-19. So it should be extremely concerning to the American public that he cherry-picked research on the efficacy of masks in preventing the spread of the virus,” Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, said in a statement. “He clearly knew about the CDC study showing masks didn’t work as we were told, but he chose neither to address nor even mention it and instead pushed forward his paper saying the exact opposite. At best, this is poor scientific ethics. If Dr. Fauci was so quick to ignore science so early in the pandemic, why should the American public trust anything else he said or did over the last few years?”
To Mask or to Double Mask
Even before the CDC study, Fauci privately admitted at the beginning of the Covid pandemic that masking was not the effective solution he later claimed it would be. Fauci’s February 2020 emails obtained in 2021 by Buzzfeed News and The Washington Post showed the director confidently stating that wearing a mask did not stop the spread of the new virus. He publicly repeated the sentiment that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask” in a “60 Minutes” interview in March 2020.
As the corporate media and Covid regime’s panic ramped up, however, Fauci changed his tune and began pushing for widespread masking under the guise of protecting against accidental asymptomatic transmission — a phenomenon that studies and the World Health Organization’s technical lead admitted is “very rare.”
When Howard Zucker, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Health appointed by disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asked Fauci in July 2020 for “information backing the efficacy of masks at prevention acquisition and spread of SARS-CoV-2,” Fauci obliged with a list of several studies that called for “Universal Masking,” emails reviewed by The Federalist showed.
“You are doing a terrific job in New York,” Fauci wrote. “Hang in there.”
By January 2021, Fauci declared one mask wasn’t enough and encouraged “common sense” measures like wearing two face coverings at once. At least one scientist emailed him to explain that double masking caused an increase in “unavoidable leakage between the mask and the face [that] carries significant air flow with no filtration.”
“I am very concerned that general public may (1) begin to use 2-3 masks and become more vulnerable or (2) not use mask at all since breathing through 2 masks is much harder and uncomfortable,” the scientist wrote.
It does not appear Fauci replied. Days after that email, the CDC announced it would investigate whether double masking was effective. Folkers forwarded Fauci a CNN article highlighting that decision.