As the United State faces the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control's current stance is that healthy people don't need to wear mask coverings.
A change in that recommendation, however, could be on the horizon.
Citing a federal official, a new report in The Washington Post states that officials at the CDC are weighing whether or not to alter its official guidance to encourage people to cover their faces during the coronavirus pandemic. The potential new guidance would make clear that the general public should not use medical masks, such as surgical and N95 respirator masks, which are currently in high demand and short supply. Instead, the recommendation would call for the public to wear do-it-yourself cloth coverings, which could potentially lower the risk that an infected wearer would transmit the virus to others.
The CDC's guidance on the matter remains under development, per the federal official.
Concerns regarding such a recommendation include the belief by some infectious disease experts that it could lull people into a false sense of security and potentially lead to a shortage for those who need the masks most. Conversely, various scientists and health experts have increasingly advocated that everyone going into public should be wearing a mask or face shield.
At his daily press briefing on Monday, President Donald Trump was asked if he believes the general public should be wearing such masks.
That’s certainly something we could discuss,” Trump answered, “it could be something like that for a limited period of time.”