Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses confusion over CDC's new mask guidance

President Biden's Chief Medical Adviser talks about how the new mask recommendations for vaccinated people could affect individuals, along with local businesses and leaders.
3:47 | 05/18/21

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Transcript for Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses confusion over CDC's new mask guidance
Let's bring in Dr. Anthony Fauci, president Biden's chief medical adviser. Dr. Fauci, thanks for joining us. Where Stephanie left off, what's your message to parents this morning whose kids are unvaccinated? Well, the same as Stephanie just mentioned and that is that the CDC recommendations still maintain that for children who are not vaccinated obviously most children are not 12 to 15 are getting vaccinated that indoors they should still wear masks and that's the CDC recommendation. Will that change as we get more and more information as we get more and more people vaccinated? Certainly we have to keep up with the evolving situation, George, we're not going to have kids at that age vaccinated for at least several months as we get towards the end of this year and the beginning of next year. Okay, let's talk about the lifting of the mask mandates that we're seeing in many states like here in New York. Other states are not ready to do that. Is the CDC basically saying whichever choice a state makes is fine? Well, not really, George. If you look at the science that evolved over the last few weeks that prompted the CDC to make the recommendations that people who were vaccinated should feel safe and be able to go indoors and outdoors without wearing a mask relates to the evidence of how effective these vaccines are, not only in protecting you against infection, but even if you have a breakthrough infection, the chances of your transmitting to someone else is extremely low. Very, very low. The problem and the issue is that we don't have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and who's not vaccinated. And I think that's where the confusion arises because there are some establishments who are saying, well, I'm going to have people coming into my establishment, my store or what have you, some are going to be vaccinated and some are not. I'm not going to know the difference, some might be infected and might actually have a risk of infecting someone else and under those circumstances, it's perfectly reasonable and understandable for the owner of that establishment to say, you know, we're going to keep the mask mandate up and that's what we're seeing and I think that's causing the confusion because some are maintaining a mask mandate and others are not. How does it change what you do when you wear a mask? Excuse me? How has it changed what you do? How it changed your mask wearing practices? Well, you know, George, I'm obviously careful because I mean I'm a physician and a health care provider. I am now much more comfortable in people seeing me indoors without a mask. I mean, before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn't want to look like I was giving mixed signals but being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low and that's the reason why in indoor settings now I feel comfortable about not wearing a mask because I'm fully vaccinated. Finally, I know that president Biden announced 20 million vaccines will be going overseas right now. A lot of health experts saying it's not nearly enough. We really need to ramp up production all around the world. True. And we should do that. I mean right now we're taking a step forward. We're going to have a total of 80 million, giving 60 of the az and 20 million of a combination of modern, pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. That's just the beginning. I'll maintain with you today I feel as a rich country we really do have a moral obligation to play a major role in making sure that there are vaccines to those countries that can't afford to get the vaccines themselves. Dr. Fauci, thanks for your time and information as always.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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