U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is urging Americans to stop buying face masks out of fear of the coronavirus.
“Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!” Adams tweeted Saturday, warning that the panicked public’s hoarding of masks isn’t just unnecessary – it’s endangering health care providers who actually need them:
“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!”
Practicing “everyday preventive measures” is the most effective means of protecting against coronavirus, the surgeon general says:
“The best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness.
“Get your #FluShot- fewer flu patients = more resources for #COVID19”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website, masks should be used by people who have the virus in order to void infecting others – not, by those who are healthy, but want to protect themselves:
Does CDC Recommend the Use of Facemask to Prevent COVID-19?
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).