How the split over face masks sums up America’s chaotic coronavirus response
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in January that it did not recommend the use of masks for “people who are well.” On Feb. 29, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams went further, tweeting a warning: “STOP BUYING MASKS.”
But weeks later, the advice was reversed. On April 3, as the number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States surged to more than 7,000, the CDC altered its recommendation to state that “cloth face coverings” should be worn when social distance cannot be maintained.
The U-turn regarding masks and the subsequent political divide over them has come to symbolize the chaos of the U.S. response to the still-raging pandemic. It also may be particularly damaging for America’s global standing, as it has drawn in not just political leaders like Trump but also widely respected public health experts who did not initially back the wearing of face masks.
“I’ve always thought of the CDC as a reliable and trusted source of information,” Siouxsie Wiles, an …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]