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The country’s leading immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has reversed course and now says there is “no reason” why the vast majority of Americans can’t go to polling stations this fall and cast ballots in person.
“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” Fauci said this week during an interview with ABC News.
“If you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do that,” he said.
The lead immunologist on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force added that Americans who are “compromised physically or otherwise” should not go if they don’t feel safe and should instead use a mail-in option.
But that said, “there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person or otherwise,” he added.
That’s quite a different take from April when Fauci told CNN he couldn’t “guarantee” that voting in person would be safe.
“Do you think it will be safe in November for voters to physically go to vote at the polls?” Jake Tapper, the CNN host, asked.
“I hope so, Jake. I can’t guarantee it.”
“There is always the possibility, as we get into next fall and the beginning of early winter, that we could see a rebound,” he added.
“Hopefully, what we have gone through now and the capability that we have for much, much better testing capability, much better surveillance capability, and the ability to respond with countermeasures with drugs that work, that it will be an entirely different ball game,” Fauci said.
“I hope we don’t have a rebound that would make this very difficult as we get into November. But if we do — and there certainly is a possibility — hopefully we’ll be able to respond in a much more effective way than what we’ve seen now in January, February, March.”
In fact, parts of the country appear to have experienced a ‘new surge’ in COVID-19 cases, but the greater numbers are also just as likely due to a dramatic rise in testing, as President Trump has often suggested.
The president has been pushing for Americans to be ‘allowed’ to vote in person as much as possible because of the possibility of rampant mail-in ballot fraud.
He repeated that claim during an interview with Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo, ripping widespread mail-in voting as “the greatest fraud in history.”
Noting that “there is nothing wrong with getting out and voting,” Trump added: “They voted in World War I and World War II.”
“They should have voter ID because Democrats scammed the system,” the president continued.
“The reason [Democrats] don’t want Voter ID is because they tend to cheat. You should have a picture for voting. And it shouldn’t be mail-in voting. It should be you go to a booth and you proudly display yourself,” the president added.
There have already been a number of mail-in balloting irregularities as well as accusations of vote fraud just during the primary season, as coronavirus restrictions led to more vote-by-mail mandates.
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