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Anthony FauciAlex Wong / Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – Outgoing White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci privately mocked Americans for following his own public advice about face coverings, according to a new book by former Trump White House officials Brian and Teresa Morgenstern.

Morgenstern served as deputy press secretary, deputy communications director, and deputy assistant Department of the Treasury secretary for former President Donald Trump. Teresa, whom he met in the administration, served as a senior communications adviser for Operation Warp Speed and deputy press secretary for the Pentagon. Together, they have written Vignettes & Vino, a collection of stories about their experiences serving the 45th President of the United States.

Townhall reported that among those stories is an anecdote about Fauci, the longtime National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director who helped shape the Trump and Biden administrations’ responses to the COVID pandemic.

“[I]n January 2020, [Fauci] said the virus was nothing to worry about for the American people,” the book recounts. “Then in the months that followed, he said that people should not wear masks and that they were ineffective. By June or July, he had changed his tune and said everyone should be very concerned and that they should wear multiple masks and goggles.”

“I vividly recall my blood boiling during an infuriating meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, when Fauci laughed about his own goggles comment, making it clear how cynical he was and that he could get people to believe anything,” wrotes Brian, who continues that Fauci “went on to laugh about how ‘ass-backwards’ it was that people entered a restaurant wearing a mask, then sat down and conversed with people without a mask. Of course, he wasn’t saying things to that effect publicly, just laughing privately at the American rubes he was fooling.”

The federal government recommended wearing face coverings in the presence of others, advice that many states and localities used to impose mask mandates on a wide range of public gatherings. But evidence has long since shown that masking was largely ineffective at limiting the spread of COVID.

Among that evidence is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) September 2020 admission that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, and a May 2020 study published by CDC’s peer-reviewed journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”

Last May, another study found that, though mandates effectively increased mask use, usage did not yield the expected benefits. “Mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the researchers found the results to be a net negative, with masks increasing “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” and interfering with communication, as well as impairing social learning among children. Dozens of studies have found the same.

Forced masking is particularly harmful for children, according to the data.

“The potential educational harms of mandatory-masking policies are much more firmly established, at least at this point, than their possible benefits in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools,” University of California-San Francisco epidemiologist professor Vinay Prasad wrote in September 2021. “Early childhood is a crucial period when humans develop cultural, language, and social skills, including the ability to detect emotion on other people’s faces. Social interactions with friends, parents, and caregivers are integral to fostering children’s growth and well-being.”

Early in the pandemic, Fauci initially acknowledged the futility of masking, but as time went on and masking was embraced by the political Left as a symbol of social responsibility, his public comments steadily grew more devoted to the practice.

In February 2020, he said there was “absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask” in the United States; by July, he was suggesting that Americans wear not only masks but goggles and face shields. In July 2022, Fauci said that if he “knew in 2020 what I know now,” he would have favored “much, much more stringent restrictions in the sense of very, very heavy encouragement of people to wear masks, physical distancing, what have you,” though he obliquely alluded to the latest evidence by qualifying his endorsement: “But you’ve got to get a well-fitted mask that is of a high quality. And the two we know are high quality are N95 and KN95.”

Fauci announced last month that he will retire in December to “pursue the next phase of my career while I still have so much energy and passion for my field.” Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says Fauci should not expect retirement to stave off Senate investigations into his leadership.