Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he believes recommendations to mask up could make a return this fall and winter, should the U.S. see a spike in cases of COVID-19.
Fauci, the former White House chief medical advisor, appeared on ABC's "This Week" to discuss a recent rise in COVID cases and potential precautions heading into the colder months.
"I can see that if we get a significant uptick in cases that you may see the recommendation that masks be used under certain circumstances in indoor crowded settings," Fauci said, adding that he does not foresee any federal mandates.
"I would be extremely surprised if we would see that," he said, referring to a mandate. "There may be local organizations that may require masks, but I think what we're going to see mostly are, if the cases go up, that there might be recommendations, not mandates. There's a big difference there."
Fauci said that the current rise in cases has resulted in a spike of "17 or more percent in hospitalizations," adding that the number will increase going into the fall and winter months.
Despite the rising cases, Fauci said that hospitals likely won’t be inundated with patients.
"I think none of us in the public health field are predicting that this is going to be a tsunami of hospitalizations and deaths the way we saw a year or more ago," Fauci said, adding that boosters will likely be available before the end of September.
After Fauci made similar comments on a possible return of mask-wearing recommendations, several physicians spoke to Fox News Digital, arguing that masks will not reduce the spread of the virus.
"Let’s face it, regardless of mask usage, the population en masse will be exposed to SARS-COV-2, and its variants, as is the case with influenza," said Dr. Brett Osborn, a board-certified neurosurgeon in West Palm Beach, Florida.
"This intermittent fluctuation is the new norm, so expect it — as COVID-19 is here to stay," Osborn added.
Fox News Digital’s Melissa Rudy contributed to this report.