Dr. Anthony Fauci was blasted online after he was confronted by a CNN host with a study showing face masks made little to no difference amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anthony Stephen Fauci is a physician-scientist and immunologist who is also the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Conservative critics bashed the former White House chief medical adviser after he failed to deny the relevance of the study on Saturday. However, he did cite other research that showed that face coverings are effective at reducing the spread of the virus.

“When you’re talking about the effect on the epidemic or the pandemic as a whole, the data are less strong,” Fauci admitted to CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “But there are other studies, Michael, that show at an individual level, for individuals,” they might be protective, he said.

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Fauci also stressed that presently “we’re not talking about forcing anybody to do anything.” But that wasn’t his saving grace as he faced a barrage of negative comments, mainly from Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits on social media.

“Fauci admits that masks don’t work for the public at large but still absurdly claims masks work on an individual basis. More subterfuge,” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“This is amazing. According to Fauci, masks work at the individual level but not on the pandemic level. Makes sense,” TRIGGERnometry podcast co-host Konstantin Kisin said.

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Outkick host Clay Travis wrote: “Holy s***t @cnn just directly confronted Dr. Fauci on air with bulletproof scientific evidence that masks don’t work at all. It only took three years, but finally!”

“Fauci confronted with most definitive data analysis possible that masks make ZERO difference against Covid. Not a little, not slight- Zero. And he just mutters some numerical illiteracy bulls–t about ‘individual protection.’ He’s a fraud and a liar,” conservative commentator Buck Sexton said.

“It’s really hard to assume Fauci’s disastrous ‘mistakes’ were in good faith when he refuses to acknowledge obvious facts that don’t require a PhD to decipher. It looks a lot more like ‘TRUST THE SCIENCE!’ only applies when it suits Fauci’s personal or political narrative,” former senior White House and US Intelligence Community official Cliff Sims said.