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Biden Coronavirus Adviser Questions Fauci on Double Masks: It ‘May Actually Be Counterproductive’

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Dr. Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus adviser to President Biden, appeared to question Dr. Anthony Fauci’s seeming embrace of double masking, or wearing two masks at once, suggesting during an appearance on MSNBC Thursday that the practice “may actually be counterproductive.”

“There’s a lot of talk that double masking is going to become an official [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] recommendation,” MSNBC’s Chuck Todd said, asking Osterholm where he falls on the subject.

“In terms of using the face cloth coverings, doubling them, actually, we need to be very careful about that,” he told Todd. “That may actually be counterproductive, not helpful.”

“We know, and I’m not an aerobiologist, but we know that, in fact, they may actually impede the movement of air in and out and causing it to actually escape in the big crevices between the cloth and your face. That’s a bigger problem, not a lesser problem than one,” he continued, warning that “too thick of a cloth” will prevent air from moving efficiently, causing the feeling of suffocation.

“And the air then moves in and out of the cracks. So that’s why we have to be very careful about people making recommendations right now about double masking and so forth without really having the data to support that,” Osterholm added.

His rebuttal comes days after Fauci, chief medical adviser for President Biden on the novel coronavirus, appeared to support the prospect of double masking, telling TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie it “just makes common sense that it would likely be more effective.”

“You know, it likely does because, I mean, this is a physical covering to prevent droplets and virus to get in,” he said when asked if the practice makes a difference.

“So if you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it would likely be more effective, and that’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95,” he added:

During a Tuesday appearance on America’s Newsroom, Fauci again failed to rule out double masking, even for those who have been vaccinated.

Fauci’s current position on masks and double masking stands in sharp contrast to the opinion he held in March 2020, suggesting masks provided more psychological relief than practical.

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