Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health went on ABC’s This Week on Sunday and demolished arguments from Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis against strict protective measures targeting COVID-19. Sure, Americans are becoming hospitalized and dying at increasing rates as the virus surges yet again, but governors like DeSantis and Texas Republican Greg Abbott have opted to focus much of their energy on going against strict protections. DeSantis even signed an order just last week that essentially bans mandates to wear face masks at schools in the state.
Abbott recently signed an order similar to the DeSantis move, although the Texas governor’s decision seems broader. Abbott’s recent order blocks local officials in the state from imposing mandates to wear face masks and implementing capacity limits for local businesses, among other provisions. Republicans like DeSantis and Abbott have cast their moves as meant to protect freedom, but their vision of so-called freedom is very self-centered, Fauci pointed out. What about the “freedom” of the people who could be severely impacted by Republicans’ pushes against wearing masks? It is — literally! — an issue of life and death.
As Fauci pointedly put it:
‘The fact is, there are things that are individual responsibilities that one has, and there are things that have to do with you individually, which also impact others. The spread of infection that we’re seeing now, the surge in cases is impacting everyone in the country. So although you want to respect a person’s individual right, when you’re dealing with a public health situation… a person’s individual — individual — decision to not wear a mask not only impacts them, because if they get infected, even though they say, “It’s my decision; if I get infected, I’ll worry about that” — but the fact is, if you get infected, even if you are without symptoms, you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable, who may get seriously ill. So in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights, because you’re making them vulnerable.’
Check out Fauci’s comments below:
Dr. Fauci on pushback against mask requirements, individual rights: "The fact is, if you get infected, even if you are without symptoms, you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable,.. So in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights." pic.twitter.com/R7aSX0JUPh
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 1, 2021