State mandates making masks compulsory have been met with mixed reactions from the public and with very little support from the Trump administration.
It's been over four months since the coronavirus reared its ugly head. Since then, there's been complete lockdown, partial lift-offs, nationwide protests, and Fourth of July celebration, and as the pandemic continues to ravage the country and destroy everything in its wake, some people are still refusing to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. In his recent press conference, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control, has reiterated the importance of face masks, saying it will slow the spread of the virus significantly and could even end the deadlock in four to six weeks, reports PEOPLE.
Redfield spoke in Mecklenburg County North Carolina, where cases are on the rise. "If all of us would put on a face-covering now for the next four weeks, six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground,” he said, knowing full well it may not happen. North Carolina, like a dozen other states along with D.C., has made it mandatory to wear masks in public with some mixed results. During his statement, he cited a scientific study and said a mask can be a huge difference in reducing the spread of the virus. "We are not defenseless against this virus," said Redfield, "We actually have one of the most powerful weapons you could ask for. The most powerful weapon we have that I know of is wearing face coverings.” He stressed, "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."
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield: “If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next 4-6 weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground.” pic.twitter.com/VCxLtn7lMB— The Recount (@therecount) July 13, 2020
The CDC initially recommended all Americans to wear masks back on April 3; however, the Trump government did what it does best—nothing. Rather than reiterate and spread the message to all the states, the administration washed its hands off the issue and left the decision to individual Governors. Although a vast majority are following the mask rule, some have refused to do so, claiming that is against their rights while also talking about the health risks. This comes as President Donald Trump himself has refused to wear masks in public for months. However, as cases began to spike after the Memorial Day weekend, Trump was then seen wearing one for the first time in public on July 11 when he visited the Walter Reed National Medical Center.
We shouldn't have to beg this president to listen to the experts.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 14, 2020
The statement by the CDC comes in the wake of several studies which have confirmed that masks are effective in preventing the virus from spreading as they found that it mainly spread through respiratory droplets from the mouth and nose and when asymptomatic people come in contact with others, chances of the spread goes up by 85% Lancet, a medical journal reported. Meanwhile, another research from Florida Atlantic University found that multi-layer, sewn face masks, such as the ones available on Etsy and other clothing retail stores were the most effective besides the non-medical masks as they were said to decrease respiratory spray from 8 feet to just 2.5 inches.
Study after study shows that mask-wearing helps stop the spread of #COVID19 and keep the curve of cases flattened.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) July 10, 2020
That’s why we're requiring masks in public in Pennsylvania. It's the most simple, effective way to protect yourself and others. #MaskUpPA pic.twitter.com/CE4fT0oOyJ
At the time of reporting this story, the United States has recorded over 3.4 million confirmed cases, with over 139 thousand deaths so far, and over 44 million tests completed. New York continues to lead the tally for the most confirmed cases and deaths with over 400k confirmed and 32k deaths while California and Florida come second and third as the two states have seen a spike in cases in recent weeks. The rising cases have pushed reopening plans as several states have now decided to cancel their plans to extend the lockdown.
Masks may have prevented 139 people who saw hair stylists infected with the coronavirus from falling ill, a new study suggests https://t.co/WnnZ6QZaBF— NYT Science (@NYTScience) July 15, 2020
Disclaimer: Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and McGill Media is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.