US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr Robert Redfield on Wednesday said that wearing masks is one of the most powerful tools to combat the spread of Covid-19, and that Americans should embrace their "personal responsibility" by wearing one.
"We are not defenseless. We have powerful tools. Probably the most powerful tool that we have is a simple face mask," Redfield said during an interview on Good Morning America, reports the CNN.
"If all Americans would embrace that as part of their personal responsibility to confront this outbreak, we could actually have a very significant impact on the outbreak that we are seeing across the country in the next four, six, eight, 10, 12 weeks."
Redfield said he doesn't think a mask mandate would work, adding that he's focusing his efforts on letting people know "they could be part of making this get better before it gets worse by wearing a face covering. And that's what I'm going to continue to do. I think we have clear data now that face masks work and we really know — the key is now how to get everybody to embrace them."
President Trump said he would not consider a national mandate on mask wearing in a new interview with Fox airing Sunday.
When asked by Fox News' Chris Wallace whether he would consider instituting a mandate, Trump responded, "No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don't believe in that, no."
Surgeon General Jerome Adams has echoed Trump, saying he does not think a national mask mandate is necessary. At the same time he urged all Americans to continue to wear face coverings.
Meanwhile, a growing number of US states have mandated the use of masks and face coverings while in public. See where your state stands.