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WASHINGTON (WJW) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicts that Americans may choose to wear face masks during seasons where respiratory illnesses are prevalent.

During a Sunday morning interview on “Meet the Press,” Fauci said that he believes people have gotten used to wearing masks and have witnessed firsthand their effectiveness. (Watch the video above for our previous report on the effectiveness of masks.)

“If you look at the data [a mask] diminishes respiratory diseases,” Fauci told interviewer Chuck Todd. “We’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominately against COVID-19.”

Fauci continued to say that it is probable in the future people “may actually elect to wear masks” during flu season in an effort to diminish their risk of getting ill.

You can watch the entire interview in the video below:

Fauci’s comments come just weeks after the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

The CDC guidance also says those who are unvaccinated can go without a face covering outside in some cases, too; people do not have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household. They also can go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.