Fauci: Maskless Are ‘Encroaching’ on Others Right to Not Get Sick

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that people unwilling to wear face masks indoors are “encroaching” on other individual rights because you’re making them vulnerable to getting infected with COVID-19.

Guest-hot Jon Karl asked, “I want to ask you about the reaction we’ve seen from prominent Republican governors. We’ve seen Florida Republican Governor DeSantis, Republican Governor Abbott of Texas, Governor Ducey in Arizona push back strongly against the notion of mask requirements. Let me read you a quote from Governor Ducey in Arizona. He said, ‘Arizona does not allow mask mandates, vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, or discrimination in schools based on who is or isn’t vaccinated.’ They are arguing that this is individual responsibility, an individual’s right to decide. What is your answer to these — you know, these are Republican governors in some of the largest states in our country?

Fauci said, “Well, Jon, I disagree with them. I respectfully disagree with them. 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. And the spread of infection that we’re seeing now, the surge in cases, Jon, 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, and we are, in fact, in a very serious public health challenge here with a pandemic, with a virus that has an extraordinary capability of spreading rapidly and efficiently from person to person. So a person’s 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. So you could argue that situation both ways.”

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