Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), weighed in with his opinion of face masks to protect against coronavirus.
Redfield testified during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Wednesday where he urged Americans to “embrace” face coverings as he deemed masks the “most important, powerful public health tool” available.
“Face masks, these face masks, are the most important, powerful public health tool we have, and I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings,” Redfield said.
The top infectious disease expert highlighted just how effective a national mask mandate could be to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
“I’ve said that if we did it for six, eight, ten, twelve weeks, we’d bring this pandemic under control,” Redfield said. “We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense.”
He even went a step further by comparing face masks to a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Redfield, a face mask “is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID” than getting a vaccine.
Redfield also offered an example to support his claim:
“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%, and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will.”
He added, “So I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility, particularly the 18-25 years olds, where we’re seeing the outbreak in America continue to go like this because we haven’t got the acceptance, the personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.”
For months now, Redfield and President Donald Trump have expressed differences in opinions regarding mitigation efforts to decrease the spread of the virus. However, Redfield has often stressed the importance of wearing masks.
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” Redfield said in July. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting.”
He added, “All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
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