PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) — The Trump administration says April will be an especially rough month for coronavirus cases across the United States. And now there is also a debate over whether Americans should start wearing face masks.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert says health officials are now reexamining guidance on face masks.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would “lean towards” recommending that the general public wear facemasks but so far United States officials don’t want to impact supplies for hospitals.
“Particularly now that we’re getting some inklings that there’s transmission of infection from an asymptomatic person who is not coughing, who is not sneezing, who just appears well. Well, how do you think that’s happening?” Fauci said. “It very well could be aerosol. Maybe not aerosol, you know, that goes on for hours. But even the slight aerosol in which you’re talking to somebody. If that’s the case, we should at least look at the data and try to make a decision about that.”
Other countries around the world including, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic, are requiring everyone to wear masks in public.
Slovakia’s new lawmakers wore masks as they were sworn in.
As the White House and the CDC discuss the issue, the World Health Organization recommends that only people who are sick or taking care of someone who’s sick should wear masks.
“There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program. “In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly.”
Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the area, there are currently 18,696 cases in New Jersey, 4,989 cases in Pennsylvania, and 319 in Delaware.
CNN contributed to this report.