WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- In the coming days, President Donald Trump is expected to announce the new guidance which encourages Americans to wear mask or face covering when leaving the house.
- Health officials noted that the use of masks should not be set aside and should be practiced along with social distancing
- Some health authorities suggested the use of masks as part of preventive measures especially for patients who are asymptomatic.
Pending new guidance advocating Americans to wear masks or face covering when going outside their homes is set to be announced by President Donald Trump.
According to a valuable source, the final details of the guidance were not yet confirmed as of Thursday afternoon, but it’s being anticipated that the new regulation will be ruled out on states that were greatly affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be releasing the advisory in the coming days, per Vice President Mike Pence. Health experts, however, noted that using masks should not set aside existing guidelines of social distancing, as covering the face per se won’t prevent the virus from spreading.
White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, told the media in a press briefing that she’s concerned about Americans who might overthink how using a face mask could largely spare them from COVID-19 — which could signal a “false sense of security” among people.
Birx emphasized that the most important thing is social distancing and washing of hands.
“Because if they’re touching things—remember your eyes are not in the mask—so if you’re touching things and then touching your eyes, you’re exposing yourself in the same way,” she added.
The eventual guidance won’t be mandatory as told by Trump. He mentioned that the guidance would be observed nationwide, but officials argued that it will not be the case.
Initial reports from Stat News said that Trump would urge citizens to make improvised masks with the use of bandanas, T-shirts and other clothing as a band-aid solution for the shortage of protective gears.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio already encouraged citizens to wear improvised face masks when going out of their homes prior to the White House announcement.
In early March, Surgeon General Jerome Adams cautioned the people in a tweet to refrain from purchasing masks, asserting they are much needed by health front liners, and noting that they are “NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.”
The White House used to have the same sentiment, but after going through how other countries like South Korea and Japan have utilized masks to slow the virus spread, the administration’s assessment has changed.
Some health authorities, including former FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb, have recommended mass using of masks as mitigation efforts against the virus, especially for asymptomatic people who are not aware that they are already infected and contagious.
Source: The Hill