Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Fauci's "wear a mask" call tops the 2020 "Yale Book of Quotations"

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a Washington Nationals protective mask while arriving to a Senate hearing in June

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, arriving at a June Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

NAID director Anthony Fauci's appeal to Americans to "wear a mask" during the pandemic to prevent COVID-19 is the top quote of the year in The Yale Book of Quotations, per AP.

Driving the news: Fred Shapiro, an associate director at the Yale Law School who chooses quotes for the Yale Law School librarian's list first published in 2006, has said he picks ones that are famous or revealing of the spirit of the times — not necessarily eloquent or admirable.

  • Per AP, Shapiro selected:

1. "Wear a mask" — from the time Fauci made the plea in a CNN interview on May 21.

2. "I can't breathe" — as said by George Floyd to a Minneapolis police officer before he died on May 25.

3. "One day — it's like a miracle — it will disappear" — President Trump's comments on the coronavirus in remarks during an African American History Month event at the White House on Feb. 27. (One of several times he's made the claim.)

4. "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning?" — Trump's remarks at a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing on April 23. (He later said he was being sarcastic.)

5. "I will never lie to you. You have my word on that" — White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany during her first news conference, May 1.

6. "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed" — the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera in September.

7. "If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain't Black" — President-elect Biden, in an interview with “The Breakfast Club” radio program on May 22. (He later apologized for the remarks.)

8. "The science should not stand in the way of this" — McEnany addressing the issue of school reopenings during a news briefing on July 16.

9. "You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier" — Biden's comment to a student at a campaign event in Hampton, New Hampshire, on Feb. 9.

10. "We are all Lakers today" — Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers tells reporters in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 26, following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Go deeper