White House coronavirus task force adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci continues to demonstrate his willingness to deliver messages that disrupt political narratives on both sides of the aisle.
Most recently, the infectious disease expert dismissed the concerns of many Democratic leaders regarding the safety of in-person voting on Election Day, as Fox News reported.
“No reason that I can see”
The comments came during an interview this week on ABC News, during which he shared his belief that there is “no reason” American voters should feel unsafe visiting a polling place in November — as long as proper safety precautions are in place.
“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” he said.
As Fauci explained, voters who “wear a mask” and “observe the physical distancing” while casting a ballot should be able to otherwise proceed as usual.
He did, however, acknowledge that those who are “compromised physically or otherwise” might prefer to choose a mail-in ballot.
Nevertheless, Fauci followed up by reiterating that “there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise.”
“Lots of things will happen”
The optimistic take is a reassuring shift from his forecast just months ago. In an April interview, he said he hoped voters would be able to vote safely in person but that he could not “guarantee it.”
Trump and a number of other Republican leaders have opposed widespread mail-in voting based on concerns of possible election fraud.
In a recent Axios interview, the president cited what he described as widespread evidence of vote tampering among absentee ballots, asserting that “lots of things will happen during that period of time” and that there has “never been anything like this.”
His political rivals have largely dismissed claims that mail-in voting is inherently any less secure than the in-person alternative, recommending the former as a way to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
While they might be inclined to oppose anything Trump happens to support, it remains to be seen whether Fauci’s opinion on the matter will be enough to change any minds.