Dr. Anthony Fauci on wearing a mask outdoors once you’re fully vaccinated: “The only time you need a mask if you’re vaccinated is if you’re going to a very, very concentrated area where people are literally walking all over each other.”
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: So, Dr. Fauci, that brings up the question of once you do have this vaccine and you’re two weeks after your second shot, where and why should you still being wearing masks and for how long? DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Well, the CDC has come out with guidance and will continue in real time to update those guidance, not only related to the number of people to get vaccinated, but what the level of infection in the community is. So, I’m vaccinated, but if I’m in an area where there is a lot of infection, I still could get infected. It’s very unlikely that I’m going to get seriously ill, but I still could get infected. And if I do, I have virus in my nasopharynx; I could inadvertently and innocently spread it to someone else. That’s one of the reasons why. As the level of community infection gets lower and lower, that likelihood becomes less and less. And that’s what the CDC means when they say, as we get lower and lower, we’re going to pull back on the restrictions. Right now, you don’t need to wear a mask if you’re together in a family or with friends with other vaccinated people, certainly you don’t need to. On — when you go outside, almost any circumstance you don’t need to wear masks except if you’re in a very, very crowded place. So we need to get vaccinated, and the more people that get vaccinated, interestingly, the closer and closer we’ll get to a pulling back on all of those restrictions, because we all want to be in a situation where we don’t have to wear a mask at all, indoor, outdoor. And we will get there if we get enough people vaccinated. O’DONNELL: Let’s just double underline before we leave that. The best news that you just said, clarity in that is that when you’re outside, you — if you’re vaccinated, you don’t need a mask at all outside. Does that have anything to do with my proximity to another person outside who might not be vaccinated? FAUCI: No. O’DONNELL: So — so a vaccinated person outside — FAUCI: The only time — O’DONNELL: — even in close proximity to unvaccinated people does not need a mask? FAUCI: Right. The only time you need a mask, if you’re vaccinated, is if you’re going to a very, very concentrated are where people are literally walking all over each other.