CDC Director: Mask-Wearing Could Get Virus Under Control In 4-6 Weeks

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Medical surgery face masks on a bright yellow background
Yulia Shaihudinova/Getty

Dr. Robert Redfield said the virus could be wiped out in 4 to 6 weeks if everyone wore a mask

The Director of the CDC has come out with an extremely strong, simple message for the U.S. when it comes to coronavirus: If everyone wore a mask, we could end the epidemic in four to six weeks.

Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, said Monday during a press conference in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina that if we as a nation committed to wearing a mask, “we could drive this epidemic to the ground,” in the next month-and-a-half. “We are not defenseless against this virus. We actually have one of the most powerful weapons you could ask for,” he continued. “The most powerful weapon we have that I know of is wearing face coverings.”

North Carolina is one of nearly two dozen states that require people to wear masks in public. Redfield also said there have been several scientific studies that have proven the impacts of a mask’s ability to stop the spread of COVID. “The most important thing that I could ask the American public to do is to fully embrace face coverings, to fully embrace careful hand hygiene, and to fully embrace social distancing,” he said.

The Trump administration has chosen not to listen to the advice of experts, instead telling Americans to decide for themselves whether wearing a mask is for them. He also seemed to indicate in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that masks could pose their own problems.

“Masks are a double-edged sword,” he said. “People touch them. And they grab them and I see it all the time. They come in, they take the mask. Now they’re holding it now in their fingers. And they drop it on the desk and then they touch their eye and they touch their nose. No, I think a mask is a — it’s a double-edged sword.” He has since changed his tune somewhat and even appeared in public wearing one.

Since the CDC’s recommendation to wear masks back in April, several studies have backed up their advice. Because the virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets from the nose and mouth, masks protect against the the risk of transmission by as much as 85 percent, according to a study published in the journal Lancet. Masks not only protect you, they protect those around you from contracting the virus from symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers.

Just yesterday, the country reported 67,417 new confirmed cases and 900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

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