National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins said on Wednesday that even after people have been vaccinated, “we don’t know exactly whether it’s still possible for that person to carry the virus. It might be, and until we have better data, then masks are still important,” he said.
Collins made his comments the Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.”
Just days earlier, Axios reports that Dr. Collins blamed thousands of COVID deaths on “maskless Republicans.”
@neilcavuto Dr. Francis Collins is being very cautious, but I think even more folks will get vaccinations and get them sooner if they are told they can take off their masks after two weeks following the 2nd shot (?)
— Jerry (@Jerry1M1) February 24, 2021
NIH Director Collins: ‘Even If We’re Overdoing It, That’s Fine’
“Even if we’re overdoing it, that’s fine,” Collins added. “Better that than run the risk of infecting more people.”
“It is still entirely possible for people to be out there in public who are infected with this virus and don’t know it,” Collins said.
“And the only way we’re going to keep such individuals, and it might be any of us, from spreading this is if they’re careful about wearing that mask.”
Collins claimed it was about “protecting everybody.”
"A mask is nothing more than a life-saving medical device, and yet it got categorized in all sorts of other ways that were not factual, not scientific, and frankly dangerous," says NIH director Dr. Francis Collins https://t.co/NDQMPDBHvA
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) February 22, 2021
Collins: ‘Until We Have Better Data, Then Masks Are Still Important’
“It’s not about protecting themselves as much as it is protecting everybody from them,” the doctor said. “Even after vaccination, we don’t know exactly whether it’s still possible for that person to carry the virus.”
He added, “It might be, and until we have better data, then masks are still important. I know people are tired of them. I’m tired of them too.”
— Spring because after WINTER comes (@summer7570) February 23, 2021
‘Better That Than Run The Risk Of Infecting More People’
Collins then stressed wearing masks is a simple practice.
“But, at the same time, it’s a simple measure,” Collins said. “It’s a life-saving medical device. Just put it on.”
That is when the doctor admitted doing this might be overdoing it, but that is fine if so.
“Even if we’re overdoing it, that’s fine,” Collins said. “Better that than run the risk of infecting more people.”
Earlier this week on “Axios on HBO,” Collins lamented the “politicization” of masks that may have killed “tens of thousands” of Americans.
“The evidence was pretty compelling by last March or April that uniform wearing of masks would reduce transmission of this disease. And yet, with a variety of messages through a variety of sources, mask wearing became a statement about your political party or an invasion of your personal freedom.
A mask is nothing more than a life-saving medical device, and yet it got categorized in all sorts of other ways that were not factual, not scientific, and frankly dangerous. And I think you could make a case that tens of thousands of people died as a result.”