Fauci reportedly briefly wore the mask to avoid ‘gotcha’ photographs
National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director Anthony Fauci was reportedly spotted maskless indoors at a book party in Washington, D.C.
Fauci was spotted with a naked face on Tuesday while attending a book party for ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl at the high-end DC Italian spot Cafe Milano, Politico reported. The outlet noted that Fauci would wear or remove the mask depending on who was around him.
Novelist Sally Quinn – who once wrote an erotic novel featuring a Fauci-inspired character – told the outlet that the NIAID director said he was planning to put the mask on if someone he “didn’t know” came up to him.
“I said, ‘You seem pretty ambivalent about your mask’ because no one else was wearing one,” Quinn told Politico. “He said, ‘I just decided that if anyone came up that I didn’t know, I would put my mask on.’”
Quinn also noted that “paparazzi” were trying to snap some picks of the maskless COVID-19 presidential adviser – who has made masking up a key feature of his tenure at the agency during the pandemic – to get a “gotcha moment” from Fauci.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the citywide mask mandate would end by next Monday.
NIAID did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on if Fauci’s going maskless aligned with the message he is sending to Americans.
Fauci has come under fire from conservatives and liberals alike for his policies, which have been relatively inconsistent since the pandemic began.
Even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the notoriously liberal animal rights organization, called on Fauci to resign from his post over his agency’s reported involvement in controversial animal experiments.
“Our position is clear. ALL those in leadership at NIH, including Fauci, should resign,” PETA tweeted earlier this month.
The tweet came after a White Coat Waste report claimed that more than $400,000 in taxpayer funding was spent on experiments that involved beagles being given an experimental drug, then infested with disease-carrying flies. Fox News has not independently verified whether these experiments took place. NIH provided a statement to Fox News about the report in October. That statement did not deny these types of experiments took place or that NIH funded them.