Americans can expect to soon receive new national guidance from the Trump administration encouraging the to wear cloth masks whenever they leave their homes, the New York Times reports.
According to the report, during Thursday evening’s White House briefing, both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said to expect the new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although Trump stopped short of saying that it would be a requirement.
“If people want to wear them, they can,”Trump said. “I don’t think they’ll be mandatory because some people don’t want to do that.”
The president also said that fabrics, such as scarves, would be preferable because they are thicker and would leave the use of much-needed medical masks for the professionals who need them, according to CNN.
“In many ways, a scarf is better. It’s thicker,” he said.
However, Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House task force on the coronavirus cautioned Americans against being lulled into a sense of safety and not keeping up with social distancing, because of the use of masks.
“It is not a substitute for the presidential guidelines [on social distancing] that have already gone out,” she said on Thursday “Don’t get a false sense of security that that mask is protecting you exclusively from getting infected.”
Birx added that details such as this are why officials are still debating the new recommendations.
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