Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has been seen wearing a mask two days in a row despite being fully vaccinated and telling Americans they can stop wearing masks after receiving their shots.
Fauci, who was vaccinated against COVID-19 in January, has confirmed that Americans are able to lose the facial coverings after getting vaccinated.
However, Fauci has been spotted wearing a face mask outside the past two days, despite new CDC guidelines that say vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks in both outdoor and indoor settings.
A picture taken of Fauci on Sunday shows him outside sporting the mask, posing with a pair of graduates from George Washington University.
Another photo of Fauci appeared online, this time of him meeting with Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, of Illinois, and National Institute of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins outside.
In an interview on Tuesday on Good Morning America, Fauci said he has continued to wear masks indoors up until recently because he did not want to "look like [he] was giving mixed signals” and contradicting the official guidance from organizations like the CDC.
"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," Fauci said.
In a Senate hearing back in March, Republican Senator Rand Paul slammed Fauci for continuing to wear masks after being fully vaccinated.
Paul has been a prominent critic of Fauci’s guidance that Americans should continue to wear masks even after being vaccinated, while scientists continue to research how the immunity granted from COVID-19 vaccines will be affected by emerging variants.
"Dr. Fauci, great news! T cell immunity after natural infection shown to include variants," Paul wrote on Twitter. "Do we still need to wear multiple masks after we’ve recovered or been vaccinated?"