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The CNN clip is from March 15, 2020, when COVID-19 test availability was limited, and tests were prioritized for specific groups. Fauci said he wasn’t getting a test because he didn’t have symptoms, which was consistent with CDC guidance at the time.
The clip cut off before Fauci’s explanation of when he would get a test. He said he’d get tested if he were in a higher risk situation.
Social media users are sharing an old CNN interview clip of Dr. Anthony Fauci to suggest that he doesn’t support COVID-19 testing.
"Will Dr. Fauci Take A PCR COVID Test?" reads the text headlining a video clip that appeared on Instagram in an Oct. 12 post.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
In the clip, CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Have you taken a test? Are you going to take a test?"
Fauci replied, "No, well, I’m not taking a test for the simple reason: I have no symptoms. I have not — I’m practicing pretty good social distancing."
Keilar then said, "But it’s hard to fully do it."
"I know, but not everybody in the United States should take a test," Fauci said. "I mean, I have no symptoms." The post cut off Fauci and flipped to a clip of comedian Kevin Hart.
Fauci did say he wasn’t going to take a COVID-19 test — at the start of the pandemic.
The clip was taken from a March 15, 2020, interview on CNN’s "State of the Union." At the time, there was limited availability of COVID-19 tests. This was two days after most schools and workplaces closed due to the pandemic for the first time. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance from March 10, 2020, said clinicians should prioritize three groups for COVID-19 testing:
Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 symptoms;
Others with symptoms, especially older adults and people with underlying conditions;
Symptomatic people in close contact with someone who had or was suspected to have COVID-19 as well as symptomatic people who travelled from affected areas.
Because Fauci didn’t have COVID-19 symptoms, he would not have been prioritized for a test under CDC guidance.
The post also cut off Fauci’s explanation of when he would take a COVID-19 test. In the full video of the interview, he said: "I have no symptoms. There's no reason for me to take a test. If I’m in a situation where I’m at a higher risk, I will take a test."
COVID-19 tests are more widely available now, and CDC guidance has changed. As of Oct. 15, the CDC recommends tests for:
People with COVID-19 symptoms;
People who had close contact with someone with COVID-19;
Unvaccinated people who were in situations, like big parties, that put them at a higher risk for contracting the coronavirus;
People asked to get tested by their healthcare provider or health department.
This wasn’t the first time the video clip had been shared in a misleading way long after Fauci’s interview. The Associated Press reported on it in March 2021.
The Instagram video was watermarked with "The News Junkie’s Cartoons," a group that describes itself on YouTube as "the most ridiculous and embarrassing moments in the news about Democrats and more."
An Instagram post claims that Fauci said he wasn’t going to take a COVID-19 test.
The video takes Fauci’s words out of context to make it look like he distrusts PCR testing for COVID-19.
Fauci’s comment came at the start of the pandemic, when testing supplies were tight, and certain groups were prioritized for testing. Fauci didn’t have COVID-19 symptoms, so he wouldn’t have been prioritized for testing. In the full clip, on CNN, Fauci explained that he would get a COVID-19 test if he were in a situation that put him at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.
Because the video is real but excludes Fauci’s explanation and any sense of timing, we rate the Instagram post Mostly False.
vtkdilla, Instagram post, Oct. 12, 2021
CDC, COVID-19 Testing Overview, Aug. 2, 2021
CNN, Why Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's not getting tested for coronavirus, March 15, 2020
AP, Old video used to misrepresent Fauci position on virus testing, March 3, 2021
USA Today, Fact check: Video of Dr. Anthony Fauci saying he wouldn't get COVID-19 test is outdated, Oct. 12, 2021
The News Junkie’s Cartoons, The News Junkie's Cartoons YouTube, accessed Oct. 14, 2021
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