To Mask Or Not To Mask: Will U.S. Walk Back Early Warnings For General Public Meant To Stave Off Shortages?
Some are wondering if it would have been smart for Americans to wear masks in the early days of the outbreak. There's still no simple consensus on best practices, especially in the midst of mask shortages for health care workers, but the CDC is considering altering its recommendation that people cover their faces in some way. Meanwhile, WHO stands by its recommendation for healthy people not to wear masks.
Mask Mystery: Why Are U.S. Officials Dismissive Of Protective Covering?
In recent weeks, facing public uncertainty about coronavirus and a severe domestic shortage of medical-grade face masks, top Trump administration officials offered adamant warnings against widespread use of masks, going so far as to argue that members of the general public were more likely to catch the virus if they used them. ... But as the crisis has played out around the world and intensified in parts of the U.S., reasons have emerged to doubt the wisdom of this guidance, which ranks among the most forceful warnings against mask use by national health authorities anywhere and does not differentiate between medical-grade masks and simple cloth coverings. A number of societies where mask use is more widespread, and where mask shortages have been less severe, seem to have had more success containing the virus. (Schreckinger, 3/30)
The Washington Post:
CDC Considering Recommending General Public Wear Face Coverings In Public
Should we all be wearing masks? That simple question is under review by officials in the U.S. government and has sparked a grass-roots pro-mask movement. But there’s still no consensus on whether widespread use of facial coverings would make a significant difference, and some infectious disease experts worry that masks could lull people into a false sense of security and make them less disciplined about social distancing. (Achenbach, Sun and McGinley, 3/30)
Face Masks: WHO Stands By Recommendation To Not Wear Them If You Are Not Sick Or Not Caring For Someone Who Is Sick
World Health Organization officials Monday said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick. "There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday. (Howard, 3/31)