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CDC recommends Americans wear masks to prevent coronavirus, Trump says

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, delivers remarks at a coronavirus (COVID-19) press briefing Friday, March 20, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The CDC is recommending that Americans use cloth masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump said Friday.

“The CDC is advising the use of non-medical, cloth-based coverings as a voluntarily public health measure,” the president said during his daily briefing on the health crisis. “This is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it, but you have a lot of ways of looking it. The CDC is asking Americans to wear a basic cloth or fabric mask.”

The president cautioned that the new suggestion does not replace guidance on social distancing or hand washing, which are also being recommended to prevent transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The CDC is not recommending the public use medical-grade or surgical-grade mask, as these items should be reserved for medical professionals treating patients, Trump said.

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Cloth or fabric masks can be purchased online or can be made by hand:

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