Watch: CNBC’s Shepard Smith Repeatedly Interrupts Fauci to Demand He Call for National Mask Mandate

CNBC anchor Shepard Smith repeatedly pressed National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci to call for a nationwide mask mandate during a Wednesday interview.

Smith said, “You’ve said a national mask mandate is maybe a good idea. Why maybe?”

Fauci said, “Well, the reason is, I would hope that we could pull together as a country and realize the importance —”

Smith said, “We haven’t.”

Fauci said, “Yeah. We have not, and that’s the reason why I said very clearly—”

Smith pressed, “Is it time for the mandate, Dr. Fauci?”

Fauci replied, “Yeah, I—”

Smith interjected, “We lean on you for advice. Do we need a national mandate or not?”

Fauci said, “Well, we do. If we don’t get one, then I would hope that the governors and the mayors do it locally if it’s not done nationally.”

Smith said, “But Dr. Fauci, are you still — does the president — are you still in the president’s ear, or no, and if not, who is?”

Fauci said, “Well, I haven’t spoken to the president in quite a while about the situation with regard to the outbreak, but I can tell you right now, regardless of that, what we do need is adherence to — mandate or not — if mandate is needed, let’s do a mandate.”

Smith said, “You’re the one who decides what is needed, Dr. Fauci.”

Fauci asked, “Hey Shep, are you going to let me finish?”

Smith replied, “It’s pretty, urgent, doc.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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