The confusion over the use or not of masks or protectors to cover the face, which does not agree with the scientific community, is experiencing a new episode in the United States. The US medical authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a recommendation Friday that Americans use some form of textile protection on their faces in the face of evidence of that there is a “significant” percentage of people who have coronaviruses and who do not have symptoms or who can transmit the disease before developing symptoms.
Donald Trump announced the recommendation to the country in his daily press conference at the White House, where he explained that it can be a home protection, that its use is “voluntary”, that it does not eliminate the obligation of social distancing and that the recommendation does not include specialized masks -such as the N95 or surgical masks- that should be left for healthcare personnel.
In the same appearance, the head of Public Health of the White House, Jerome Adams, acknowledged that there had been “confusion” about the directives of whether or not to wear a mask, with the added problem that it is a product that is in short supply for health workers and that the US, like many countries, is fighting to import or accelerate its production. Adams himself demanded that Americans stop buying face masks in late February because they were not effective for the general public. Now the authorities have to change the script – say they are beneficial – but without further stifling the ability of hospitals and medical centers to obtain the professional-grade face masks they require for their work.
Trump himself did not help in the change of message. Immediately after, the president of the USA He recognized that in that recommendation he would not be exemplary. “Somehow, sitting in the Oval Office behind the beautiful Resolute Desk -the presidential desk-, wearing a mask while greeting presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens … I don’t know,” he said. Somehow I don’t see it for myself.
When asked about the matter again, Trump justified that he had a coronavirus test done this week and the result was negative. “I feel good,” he said in explanation, precisely in contradiction of the CDC’s recommendation (no need to have symptoms to transmit).
Trump chose not to listen to either the CDC or his wife, who asked in a Twitter message “to everyone” to take “social distancing and the use of a mask or face protection” seriously.
Other US authorities they did lead by example. Jared Polis, the governor of Colorado, one of the states that is becoming a hot spot for the epidemic, appeared with his mouth and nose covered with a cloth with the logo of his state. His Pennsylvania counterpart John Fetterman shared a photo on social media with an impromptu homemade face mask. .