Former FDA Commissioner: ‘We Should Have Been Recommending Masks From the Outset’

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Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) lifts his mask to sip some water at a markup of the "Justice in Policing Act" on June 17. (Photo by ERIN SCOTT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) lifts his mask to sip some water at a markup of the “Justice in Policing Act” on June 17. (Photo by ERIN SCOTT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – “We should have been recommending masks from the outset,” former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Although the number of coronavirus cases is increasing in some places, many people are not wearing masks in public.

Gottlieb said he thinks that’s a mistake, and he sided with states and localities, including some in Arizona, that now have been authorized to make mask-wearing mandatory:

“Masking has becoming controversial,” Gottlieb said:

It shouldn’t be. It’s a simple intervention. It’s a collective action we can all take to help protect our fellow citizens and also protect ourselves and try to reopen the economy safely.

I think some people see it as a — sort of infringement on their liberty or as a way to cast some scorn on a public health establishment that’s come in for some questions because people blame the public health establishment for the shutdowns, they blame the public health establishment for some conflicting guidance.

I think in other quarters it’s been portrayed as something that, you know, Trump supporters don’t want to wear masks. It’s neither of those things. It’s something that we can do collectively to try to reduce the spread.

It’s really all we have. And it’s not — it’s not a very robust tool at that. But it’s a tool that we have and it’s a tool that’s been demonstrated to have an impact, if everyone does it, or if most people do it.

Gottlieb said a move towards “universal masking” may be controversial, “But there’s not much else you can do. And so there’s no quick intervention that’s going to bring this to an end.”

In the early days of the pandemic, the medical experts told us not to buy masks.

On February 29, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted: “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

But by April 3, Adams was demonstrating how to make your own cloth face mask in a YouTube video.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, recently said the public was advised against wearing face masks early on because health experts worried that there wouldn’t be enough for front-line health workers.

According to data provided by the CDC, as of June 21, 2020:

— There were 2,248,029 diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., a day-to-day increase of 32,411; new COVID-19 cases; iLast updated on June 21, 2020

— 119,615 people have died, a day-to-day increase of 560;

Gottlieb said the disease is spreading as the states reopen their economies:

“And so, you know, a challenge that was facing some regions of the country now is facing every region in the country. And the worry is that they’re going to tip over into exponential growth coming this week because the cases are building quite quickly in Texas, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arizona.

“And the challenge with exponential growth is everything looks OK until suddenly it doesn’t. And so this is something that has to be a concern of everyone that’s been watching this.”

The concern is that hospitals may become overwhelmed:

“And so this is going to be hard to get under control. We’re not going to want to shut down businesses again. We’re not going to want to shut down the economy. So there’re not many tools we can reach for.

“We can do case based intervention, the tracking and the tracing of sick people to get people isolated. We can go towards universal masking, something that’s been controversial in some of these states. But there’s not much else you can do. And so there’s no quick intervention that’s going to bring this to an end.”
 

Also see:
Trump on COVID-19: ‘So, I Said to My People: Slow the Testing Down, Please’



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