SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The coronavirus pandemic that continues to grapple much of the United States could be controlled in four to 6 weeks if everyone wore face masks, according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At a press conference Tuesday led by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), director Robert Redfield said face masks are people’s “major” defense against the spread of the virus, along with social distancing and proper handwashing.
He also said that President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence should wear masks to set an example.
Just days ago Trump was seen wearing a mask for the first time in public during a visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
JAMA published an editorial on Tuesday co-authored by Redfield that points to research papers showing that the positivity rate of confirmed cases can decrease in populations with masking.
“The time is now. We really need to embrace masking,” he said.
“If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four weeks to six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground in this country,” he added.
Additionally, the CDC published two reports that studied how wearing face masks can reduce COVID-19 spread for businesses and how universal mask usage was easily adopted among some racial and ethnic groups from April to May.
The United States saw a record number of new cases Tuesday with 67,417, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
At last check, more than 3.4 million people had been infected, and 38 states reported an increase in the number of new cases from the week before.