USA advise wearing masks

Washington – Contrary to the previous guidelines, the US government is now advising to wear face masks as a measure against the spread of the coronavirus. “This is voluntary,” said US President Donald Trump in the White House.

He added: “I decided not to do it.” The recommendation applies to masks made of fabric that can be made at home, but not for medical protective masks. These should be reserved for medical staff. Trump emphasized that the recommendation does not replace the protective measures introduced so far, but supplements them.


The US CDC has so far explicitly not advised healthy people without symptoms to wear masks. Now, however, it is said that cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose should be worn in public. This applies especially to situations such as in supermarkets or pharmacies, where it is difficult to keep enough distance from other people at all times. The recommendation applies particularly to areas where there are already many infections.

Experts fear that a recommendation to wear protective masks could trigger increased demand and thus exacerbate the lack of masks for healthcare workers. In addition, the protective effect of the improvised masks now recommended is controversial.


Trump said on Friday night (local time) when asked a reporter why he didn’t want to stick to the new mask measure: “Sitting in the Oval Office, behind this beautiful Resolute Desk (the President’s desk in the White House), the great resolute desk – I think wearing a face mask when I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself. I just don’t see it. Maybe I’ll change my mind. »


The situation in the USA in the corona crisis is becoming more acute. The number of deaths was more than 7,000 on Saturday morning (local time), according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The number of known infections was therefore almost 300,000 – more than in any other country in the world. However, according to calculations by the IHME Institute of the University of Washington in Seattle, to which the White House has recently referred, the peak of the epidemic in the United States is not expected until April 16 – with possibly more than 2,600 deaths on that day.



The east coast state of New York and the metropolis of the same name are currently worst affected by the coronavirus epidemic. Governor Andrew Cuomo again asked for more help from other parts of the country that are not yet as badly affected by the Sars-CoV-2 virus. New York is currently “the spearhead” and needs help. As soon as the situation calms down, New York will help other more affected areas, Cuomo promised. He emphasized: “Mutual help is the only solution.”


Trump has meanwhile announced that the U.S. government wants to ban the export of scarce medical protective equipment because of the spread of the coronavirus. The export of respiratory masks of the type N95, surgical gloves, and other products should be prevented. “We need these products in our country immediately,” he warned. Trump also emphasized that if certain countries, such as Spain, had major problems and placed long-term orders, he would not stop such deliveries. Spain has also been hit hard by the Corona crisis.



The US company 3M, which produces breathing masks, among other things, was critical of the instructions from the White House. This would have a significant humanitarian impact on certain countries. In addition, the step could result in other states also suspending the export of such products to the USA, which would be counterproductive in the current situation. Trump dismissed the company’s criticism and said he wasn’t happy with 3M.

Trump had activated a wartime law last month in order to intervene more in the private sector in the face of the corona crisis. Among other things, he wants to boost the production of respirators and respirators. He had applied this law on Thursday against 3M.


The US government’s chief health official, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, wrote on Twitter at the end of February: “Seriously, people – stop buying masks!” Masks are not suitable for preventing a large mass of people from being infected by the coronavirus. A lack of masks endangers medical personnel. On Friday evening, he gave instructions in a video from the CDC health authority on how to make a mask from a cut T-shirt. “It’s that simple,” said the Vice-Admiral.