Dr. Anthony Fauci stars in the White House's new COVID-19 PSA: 'Wear a mask'

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Elena Sheppard
·2 min read
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Dr. Anthony Fauci has already been front and center in President Biden's White House. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Dr. Anthony Fauci has already been front and center in President Biden's White House. (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

On Saturday, the White House posted a very simple public service announcement: a three-second video of Dr. Anthony Fauci putting on his mask and reminding others to do the same. “Please wear a mask,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and newly minted chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden urges viewers in the PSA before looping the straps over his ears.

Though short and simple, the video signifies a marked change between Biden’s administration and that of his predecessor, former President Donald J. Trump. Trump had somewhat banished Fauci from public view, after disapproving of Fauci’s grim prognosis for the COVID-19 pandemic, and famously called the disease expert a “disaster.” With respect to masks, Trump’s White House was known for infrequent mask use, even after the White House itself became a hot spot for the virus.

President Biden, by contrast, has imposed a mask mandate on federal property and brought Fauci back into the spotlight. He’s also vowed to improve the coronavirus response by adding financial relief plans and focusing on faster vaccine distributions, with a goal of 100 million people being vaccinated in his first 100 days in office.

Leaning on Fauci’s expertise is also part of the plan, as evidenced by his “wear a mask” PSA.

“You cannot have the politicization of public health messages,” Fauci said on this week’s CBS Sunday Morning. “The idea that wearing a mask or not became a political statement, that makes it beyond difficult to implement a good public health measure.”

He also expressed optimism that there would be more universal, cohesive messaging about wearing masks and taking other steps to combat COVID-19 transmission.

“What we're gonna be seeing over the next months is much more of a coordinated, synergistic partnership between the federal government and the states,” he added. “So, I believe we're gonna see a turnaround in attitude when the federal government and the states start working together much more, as opposed to ‘You're on your own.’”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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