President Donald Trump has recommended Americans to cover their face with scarves or homemade cloth masks while going outside to curb the spread of the coronavirus though he would not wear one himself.
Citing the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Trump urged people to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks and to keep medical-grade masks available for the health workers.
The CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure, Trump told reporters during a press briefing at the White House on Friday.
“The CDC is not recommending the use of medical-grade or surgical-grade masks. Those need to be used for medical people working to save the lives of Americans. Medical protective gear must be reserved for the front-line healthcare workers who are performing those vital services,” he said.
CDC has recommended that Americans wear basic cloth or fabric masks that can be either purchased online or simply made at home.
However, Trump said he will not follow that guidance.
“I just don’t want to wear one myself, it’s a recommendation,” he said.
“Somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk, the great Resolute Desk, I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, I don’t see it for myself,” he said.
The deadly coronavirus has so far claimed over 7,000 lives in the US and infected over 2,70,000 people.
During the press conference, Trump stressed that the new masks guidelines do not replace CDC’s guidance on social distancing, including staying at home when possible, standing at least 6 feet apart for a period of time.
He also called for practising hand hygiene.
Based on the new available data, CDC said the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity–for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing–even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.