The Federalist

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Facebook fact-checks a Federalist article which claims Dr. Fauci knew masks were ineffective but pushed for their universal use anyway: The Federalist posted an article based on one of Dr. Fauci's publicly released emails in which he instructed someone not to wear a mask. In his email dated Feb. 5, 2020 Fauci wrote, "Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection..." Later in the same email Fauci explained, “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep[ing] out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.” Facebook fact-checker AFP claimed that the The Federalist was misleading its readers by saying that Fauci knew the masks were ineffective. Instead, AFP suggested, Fauci's opinions changed as "new information" about COVID-19 surfaced. Fact-checked posts lose exposure on Facebook feeds as they are negatively affected by the platform's algorithm. According to Facebook, users fail to click through a fact-check interstitial to see the post 95% of the time.