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Society

Fauci’s Plea “Wear a Mask” Tops List of 2020 Notable Quotes

December 7, 2020

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A plea from Dr. Anthony Fauci for people to "wear a mask" to slow the spread of the coronavirus tops a Yale Law School librarian's list of the most notable quotes of 2020.

The list assembled by Fred Shapiro, an associate director at the library, is an annual update to "The Yale Book of Quotations," which was first published in 2006. 

Also on the list is "I can't breathe," the plea George Floyd made repeatedly to police officers holding him down on a Minneapolis street corner. Several quotes from the presidential campaign appear including Joe Biden telling a student: "You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier." 

Shapiro said he picks quotes that are not necessarily admirable or eloquent, but rather because they are famous or particularly revealing of the spirit of the times. 

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THE LIST

1. "Wear a mask." — Dr. Anthony Fauci, CNN interview, May 21. 

2. "I can't breathe." — George Floyd, plea to police officer, Minneapolis, May 25.

3. "One day — it's like a miracle — it will disappear," President Donald Trump, referring to the coronavirus in remarks at an African American History Month reception at the White House, Feb. 27.

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, in remarks at a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing, April 23.

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

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

7. "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black." — Joe Biden, in an interview with "The Breakfast Club" radio program, May 22.

8. "The science should not stand in the way of this." — McEnany, referring to school reopenings in a news briefing, July 16. 

9. "You're a lying dog-faced pony soldier." — Biden, in a remark to student at campaign event, Hampton, N.H., Feb. 9.

10. "We are all Lakers today." — Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, in a remark to reporters after the death of Kobe Bryant, Orlando, Fla., Jan. 26. 

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