The U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has been begging Americans to wear face masks. Still, many Americans, including President Trump, have resisted. In an interview with Fox & Friends on Monday, Surgeon General Adams said, “I’m pleading with your viewers, I’m begging you, please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering … We are saying if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open.”
It seems that due to lacking support in the polls, Trump has finally changed his mind on wearing masks. Yesterday, President Trump pivoted by tweeting a picture of himself wearing a mask, calling it “patriotic.” He concluded, “There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!”
So far Trump has only been seen once in public wearing a mask, at his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center earlier this month.
His aides had reportedly been pleading with Trump for months to wear a mask, but he would not, not wanting to give in to pressure from the press. In the past months, Trump mocked Joe Biden for wearing a mask and insinuated that wearing a mask would seem unpresidential.
Wearing face masks: the truth about virus prevention
Studies have shown that wearing a mask can reduce transmission of COVID-19 by 50 percent. It not only protects others around you, but also the person wearing the mask. In case you happen to be near someone who is infected, wearing a mask will reduce the amount of the virus that you take in.
Research has shown that the amount of the virus you are exposed to directly affects how sick you get. Not to mention that as many as 50 percent of people who spread the virus so do unknowingly, as they are infected but do not show symptoms yet.
U.S. behind the curve
Since the U.S. did not focus on wearing masks in the beginning, now we are behind the curve, and even rank on other countries’ travel restriction lists. Communities that were opening up are now going back to restrictions on their daily lives until we can get the virus surge under control.
This week, Johns Hopkins University data showed that 31 states have seen more new cases this past week than the previous week. States hit the hardest in hospitalizations include California, Florida, and Arizona.
Governors in individual states are issuing mask orders, but the federal government has yet to do so, citing the difficulty of enforcement. The public is warming to face masks, however; A Fox News poll out on Monday reported that 71 percent of Americans now support a face mask mandate for indoor spaces.
Wearing masks could drive pandemic “into the ground”
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that if everyone wore a mask, we could drive the epidemic “to the ground” in a matter of weeks, a statement which Trump disagreed with in an interview on Sunday. The IHME University of Washington model predicts that over 40,000 lives could be saved if all Americans wore masks.
As of now, many national store chains are mandating masks, including Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Home Depot, Target, the Apple Store, Starbucks, CVS, Walgreens, The Fresh Market, and more.