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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci during a June Senate hearing in Washington, DC. Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told ABC News in an Instagram live discussing the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday evening, "If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it."

Why it matters: Eye protection is not currently included in formal guidance on COVID-19. The CDC only advises that health care workers use eye protection "in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

By the numbers: More than 150,000 people in the U.S. have died of the novel coronavirus and over 4.4 million have been infected as of Wednesday night, per Johns Hopkins.

What they're saying: After ABC's Jennifer Ashton asked Fauci if he could envision the point where eye protection would be recommended, he replied: "It might, if you really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces."

  • Fauci noted that eye protection was "not universally recommended, but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can."
  • He explained that the coronavirus infects mucosal surfaces, like the nose and mouth, along with the eyes. "Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces," Fauci added.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Biden says he'll make Supreme Court pick by end of February

President Biden speaks on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday said he will announce the nominee for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's replacement by the end of February.

Driving the news: Biden also affirmed that he will nominate a Black woman to replace Breyer, saying "it's long overdue."

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."