Marjorie Taylor Greene Cites Fauci Email to Criticize Mask Fines

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) cited a recently released email from Dr. Anthony Fauci as she again criticized fines handed out in the House of Representatives to those objecting to wearing face masks.

Greene said an email Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), sent in February last year "disqualifies" mask fines that have been issued against those who have refused to wear a covering on the floor.

She has previously hit out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over the rules.

In the Fauci email in question, one of many released under the Freedom of Information Act this week, he said face masks were best for infected people to stop them spreading COVID further. He also said they were "not really effective" in keeping the virus out as it could pass through the material.

"This officially disqualifies those mask fines several of us have for not wearing a mask on the House floor that Speaker Maskhole is trying to take out of our salary," Greene tweeted on Wednesday.

"The highest paid employee of the Federal Gov and Covid expert says masks don't work!"

In a February 2, 2020 email, when the U.S. government was still working out its position on face masks, Dr. Fauci said that store-bought face masks would not be very effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

"Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection," he wrote at the time.

"The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you."

He later told the sender that he recommended that they not wear a face mask because they were going to a "very low risk location."

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) later promoted the efficacy of face masks. Since April last year, health experts have strongly recommended Americans wear face coverings in public spaces to prevent the spread of COVID.

However, the CDC clarified in May this year that those who had been fully vaccinated could resume life as normal without having to wear a face mask or socially distance—except were required by federal and state laws. The House rules have not been lifted.

Dr. Fauci has also recommended the use of face masks to curb the spread of COVID, in line with the CDC's updated advice last year.

Newsweek has contacted Pelosi's office for comment. Newsweek has also contacted the NIAID for further comment on Dr. Fauci's email.

A spokesperson for Rep. Greene added that Fauci was a "fraud" and claimed the congresswoman was "ahead of the curve" when it came to the NIAID director.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in Dalton, Georgia
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at an America First Rally on May 27, 2021 in Dalton, Georgia. Megan Varner/Getty Images