US's top health boss says masks give better Covid protection than vaccines will
The United States most senior public health official has said that wearing a face mask will provide even greater protection from Covid than upcoming vaccines. Centers for Disease Control Director Dr Robert Redfield made an impassioned plea for Americans to wear face coverings while addressing a hearing in Washington DC Wednesday.
He said: ‘These face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have. I will continue to appeal for all individuals to wear these face coverings. if we did it for six, eight, 10, 12 weeks we’d bring this pandemic under control. We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense.
‘I might even go so far as to say this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine because the immunogenicity may be 70%, and if i don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me.’
‘This face mask will. So I do want to keep asking the American public to take responsibility.’
Immunogenicity refers to the ability of a vaccine to build an immune response to a virus, with scientists warning that several prototype shots in late-stage development may fail to protect every American from coronavirus.
Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, who chaired the hearing that Redfield addressed, complimented him on delivering an ‘eloquent’ riposte to President Trump’s flip-flopping on mask-wearing.
Redfield – who was hired by Trump – has been accused of being too close to the president, whose handling of the coronavirus crisis has been heavily criticized.
But the CDC boss has nonetheless repeated official guidance about social distancing and taking coronavirus seriously while making appearances on right-wing radio shows.
President Trump offered lukewarm advice to Americans to begin wearing masks back in May, but refused to be snapped wearing a face covering in public.
White House sources claim Trump worried they’d make him look weak, with the president mocking rival Joe Biden earlier this month for wearing a mask.
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