The coronavirus can be controlled in the US within two months if people diligently wear face masks, according to the chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“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,” CDC director Robert Redfield said Tuesday in an interview with Journal of the American Medical Association.
“If we all rigorously did this, we could really bring this outbreak back to where it needs to be.”
Redfield made the comments as infection numbers surge in states such as California, Texas and Florida — and as more than 3.4 million people countrywide have been diagnosed with the illness.
The CDC director also suggested the current spike in southern states may be linked to people in northern states traveling there for vacations around Memorial Day — rather than reopenings.
“I don’t think the reopening’s actually what’s driving the current Southern expansion [in cases] right now,” he said. “If you look at the South, everything happened around June 12 to June 16. It all simultaneously kind of popped.”
He added, “We’re of the view that there was something else that was the driver. Maybe the Memorial Day, not weekend, but the Memorial Day week, where a lot of Northerners decided to go South for vacations.”
He also stressed that wearing a mask is “not a political issue” but rather “a public health issue” and a matter of “personal responsibility.”
In the interview — given to Dr. Howard Bauchner of The Journal of the American Medical Association — Redfield added that he was pleased President Trump recently wore a face mask.
“I’m glad to see the president wear a mask this week, and the vice president,” Redfield said, referencing the first time President Trump wore one publicly over the weekend.