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US can get coronavirus under control in 8 weeks if everyone wears masks, CDC director says

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Robert Redfield speaks during a news briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic with members of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House in Washington, D.C., on April 3, 2020. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

The U.S. can get the coronavirus under control in less than two months if everyone wears a mask, according to the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to ABC News, Dr. Robert Redfield told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday that “the most powerful weapon we have” against Covid-19 is wearing face coverings, washing hands regularly, and “being smart about social distancing.”

“If we all rigorously did this, we could really bring this outbreak back to where it needs to be,” Redfield said. “I think if we can get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really do think over the next four to six, eight weeks, we can bring this epidemic under control.”

The CDC recommends people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when social distancing isn’t possible. Cloth face coverings “help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.”

According to CBS, some Americans have refused to wear masks over claims it will harm them or are ineffective — despite studies showing their effectiveness and safety — or infringe on their personal freedoms. The CDC does not recommend face coverings for children under the age of two or anyone who “has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”

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Redfield said wearing a mask is “not a political issue — it is a public health issue,” praising President Donald Trump for recently wearing a mask at a public event.

“I’m glad to see the president wear a mask this week, and the vice president,” the CDC director said. “We need them to set the example.”

Coronavirus cases are rising in multiple states, including California, Texas and Florida, prompting some to roll back reopenings or mandate masks in public. As of Wednesday, more than 3.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. and over 136,000 people have died nationwide.

Redfield urged Americans to help get coronavirus under control as the upcoming fall and winter seasons could mean battling both Covid-19 and the seasonal flu.

“The fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are going to be probably one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health,” he warned.

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© 2020 Syracuse Media Group