“It is bizarre that we have turned the mask wearing into something political,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Using an analogy of an alien coming to the planet Earth and looking around at mask wearing, Collins said that they would be astounded, puzzled and amazed.
“You’d wonder what is going on here? How could it be that something as basic as a public health that we have very strong evidence can help, seems to attach to people’s political party,” he said. “For starters, could we just walk away from that and say this is about all of us?” said Collins.
He said that Americans are pretty good at rising to challenges and crises, that they have done it before during wartime.
“This is not a war, but in a certain way it is against the enemy which is called the virus, and that virus is very sneaky and stealthy,” Collins said. “Our best chance is for all of us to get together and do the right thing and stop fighting so much about the divide between different political perspectives which is just getting in the way.”
Collins made a point to wear his mask as his interview started, explaining that he had been wearing it since he left his house, and was removing it because the only other person with him in the NIH studio was ten feet away.
“I didn’t want anybody to think that we take masks as something optional for people who want to protect themselves and people around them,” Collins said.