Washington – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today made official the recommendation to citizens to use cloth masks as a measure to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has killed over 7,000 people in the United States.
United States President Donald Trump announced the new CDC guide, but emphasized that it is a “voluntary” matter. “I don’t think I’m going to use them,” Trump said, immediately declining the suggestion from health experts.
Trump – who had another briefing on the coronavirus in which he responded with attacks on journalists when he did not like the questions -, stated that he is not seen “with a mask while greeting presidents … dictators” in the Oval office of the White House .RELATED
The CDC issued the recommendation as experts point out that the virus can be spread by one person just by talking or breathing near another.
According to data from John Hopkins University, there are more than 273,000 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States, of whom more than 7,000 have died.
“The transmission of the virus by individuals without symptoms takes a more significant role,” Trump said, in the White House briefing.
The federal government, however, reaffirmed that medical masks – N95 – should be made available to health workers.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said experts believe that a person who carries the coronavirus, even without symptoms, can transmit it just by talking, coughing, and sneezing. Please leave the N-95 masks for healthcare workers. This is not a substitute for social distancing, ”added Adams, mentioning that in these moments of emergency the use of face masks is a recommended measure when people go to the supermarket or pharmacy to do their essential shopping.
Trump argued that at a time when there is a shortage of personal protective equipment in American hospitals, he signed an executive order that prohibits the export of N95 masks, gloves and other essential supplies for health workers.
The same shortage occurs around ventilators or respirators that can save coronavirus patients’ lives.
The White House doctor recommended that all people who are going to meet with President Trump – who has twice tested negative for the coronavirus -, should be tested for the virus.
At the briefing, President Trump again ruled out a national order for citizens to stay home, stressing that already 90% of the population lives under the mandates of their governors or mayors who they think achieve that goal.
Federal epidemiologist Anthony Fauci had favored that idea Thursday night, on a CNN forum.
This morning, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, warned that patients in his state may die from next week due to the lack of fans, which he considers will be exhausted from Sunday.
Cuomo would launch an executive order by which the National Guard can bring respirators from hospitals in areas with few cases of coronavirus to those who already have a crisis. In the past 24 hours, 562 people died in New York from the coronavirus, Cuomo said in the morning.
New York Mayor Bill deBlasio said a mobilization of medical and Armed Forces personnel is needed to support the city’s hospitals. “We are at war against an invisible enemy that takes the lives of Americans in huge amounts,” he said.
“Not all Americans are following the recommendations,” said the coordinator of the White House interagency group on the coronavirus, Dr. Deborah Birx.
The White House has estimated that in the coming months between 100,000 and 240,000 people may die in the United States from the coronavirus.
Researchers have questioned the figure, understanding that it could be calculated in a hurry.
Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York, said that his model predicts fewer deaths and regretted that the process to have an estimate was not done in advance. “I would have liked to see something more like a concerted national plan,” Shaman told The Washington Post.
Trump said the official estimates of deaths from the coronavirus “are projections” that “I hope are wrong.”
On the other hand, the US Secretary of Health, Alex Azar, affirmed that they are going to allow a partial opening for new registrations in the Obamacare health plan, through providers, and in some states access to Medicaid.
The Trump administration has indicated that the Humana, Cigna and Blue Cross health plans have pledged not to charge a copayment for coronavirus treatment.