Ending a week of speculation, the Centers for Disease Control released voluntary guidelines Friday night for Americans to cover their mouths and noses when they go out.
President Trump has stated that he does not intend to follow the recommendation. “I don’t think I’m going to do it,” he said during a briefing at the White House by the coronavirus task force.
The new direction came in response to the accumulated evidence that people can spread the coronavirus without showing symptoms of COVID-19. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the measure was aimed at preventing potentially infected individuals from spreading the virus rather than protecting the carrier.
N95 medical grade respirators, which work as protection, are still rare in many hospitals and are kept for healthcare professionals.
“The CDC recommends the use of a non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure,” said Trump. “So it’s voluntary, you don’t have to. And they suggest it for a period of time, but it’s voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to do it, ”said Trump.
Facial masks are rare in hospitals across the country, Trump on Thursday invoked the Defense Production Act to force 3M to increase production. At the same time, debate has raged within the federal government over whether to recommend ordinary people to use face masks when they leave the house.
“The CDC recommends that Americans wear a basic cloth or cloth mask that can be purchased online or simply made at home with probably material you made at home,” said Trump. “These face covers can easily be washed at home or reused. But we want to emphasize that the CDC does not recommend the use of medical or surgical grade masks and we want this to be used for our great doctors who work so hard. “
Trump said his opposition to putting on a mask himself was based on how he felt and how it would project the world.
“I just don’t want to wear one myself. It is a recommendation. They recommend it. I feel good. I just don’t want to do it, “said Trump, adding,” I don’t know, sort of sitting in the oval office behind this beautiful Resolute desk, the big Resolute desk, I think wearing a face mask when I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. I may change my mind. ”
Surgeon General Adams admitted that the advice given to the Americans by the administration on the use of face masks had been “confusing.” Citing new studies showing that people who, in the President’s words, “feel good” but are spreading the virus anyway, said Adams, “it’s important to know that we now know, through recent studies, that a significant portion of people with coronavirus miss the symptoms are what we call “asymptomatic” and that even those who become pre-symptomatic, which means that they will develop symptoms in the future, can transmit the virus before they don’t have symptoms. “
Trump has twice tested negative for COVID-19, according to the White House, which also announced Friday that those meeting with the president and the vice president would receive a new test for the coronavirus that would deliver results in 15 minutes. So far, visitors to the White House have been scanned with forehead thermometers, but these can only detect active COVID-19 disease, not possible infection.
“I just got tested too, so I guess I don’t have the virus, so I don’t have to worry about spreading it,” said Trump.
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