Coronavirus: US moves towards promoting broader use of face masks

Coronavirus: US moves towards promoting broader use of face masks

Meanwhile, in the course of explaining why they are issuing new guidelines recommending these cloth face coverings, the CDC's statement says that the guidance is necessary in light of "new evidence" that people who are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic can spread the disease' however, this is not new evidence.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will speak to Donald Trump in the coming days as the USA president escalates a battle with allies and 3M Co. over exports of medical equipment and N95 masks.

Unlike in the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic ordered people to wear masks in plenty of places and the NY mayor suggested that people wear them.

278,458 cases of COVIID-19 and more than 7,000 deaths have been confirmed in the US.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said the state would run out of ventilators in six days at the current rate.

United States authorities have actually been informing people to remain at home as much as possible, and keep at least 6 feet (2 metres) far from others when they do head out.

Then on Friday, President Donald Trump announced that the CDC would issue guidance that face coverings not meant to be used for medical purposes should be used on a voluntary basis while in the public.

Officials say people should not wear clinical or medical-grade masks because those should be reserved for health workers and first responders on the front lines. Part of the reason was to reserve N95 respirators and masks for healthcare workers like myself who are on the front lines and exposed to people with COVID-19. This new advisory now recommends that those who aren't feeling sick should still wear a mask, though compliance is voluntary.

The expert, a strong advocate of their use, said the World Health Organization was reviewing its guidance.

"I don't think I will", he said, continuing to suggest that it was hard to imagine such a thing in the Oval Office.

He tried imagining himself wearing a mask while sitting in the Oval Office behind the desk greeting world leaders.

The Trump administration wants to halt the export of respirators to Canada and Latin American countries, one of the leading manufacturers of the life-saving protective equipment said Friday. "COVID -19 is a virus that can spread to anyone - we can stop this together". USA surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams acknowledged the change in position had stoked some uncertainty.

On Wednesday, Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, advised his city's 4 million people to use masks when they stay in public.

Another argument in their favour is the theory - not yet scientifically proven - that the virus can be transmitted through the air.

In a daily briefing with reporters, Mr Trump stressed that the new recommendation should not be seen as replacing social distancing measures, considered key to slowing the outbreak.

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