FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Republican Congressman Jim Banks tweeted Sunday a one-word response to news that the country's top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said it's possible Americans will need to wear masks into 2022.
Banks tweeted simply, "Nope."
A few hours later Banks tweeted, "Messaging for '22 candidates… End mask mandates."
We reached out to his office for clarification -- did Banks mean he didn't think Americans would have to wear masks as long as Dr. Fauci predicted, or did he disagree with wearing masks in general?
A spokesman emailed a reply saying Banks said, "I'm beginning to think Democrats support lifelong mask mandates" and that Republicans should run against mask mandates in 2022-at which point it's almost certain that every American will have had an opportunity to be vaccinated-which FYI is what the science says is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID."
Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter says studies have shown that masks work.
"To me this isn't about politics, it's just about science. Masks have actually been much better than we thought they were. So they're one of the cheapest, most effective ways to limit the transmission of the COVID virus," he said.