During a CBS News appearance on Sunday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams defended statements he made on the appearance back in March when he was still cautioning people to not wear face disguises because, when it comes to getting infected with coronavirus, they “do not work for the general public.”
“It’s important for people to understand that once upon a time, we prescribed cigarettes for asthmatics, and leeches and cocaine, and heroin for people as medical treatments. When we learn better, we do better, ” said Adams, who was wearing a face mask to communicate the need to wear masks — which the available evidence likewise suggests is a good idea.
“Are you saying, at that time, you did not know- because the CDC, in February, was looking at asymptomatic communication of the virus, ” answered CBS News anchor Margaret Brennan, who previously pointed out that the administration’s mask guidance changed in April.
“We were looking at that, ” said Adams, “but the CDC, the WHO, and even in May, there was a New England Journal of Medicine article that still quarrelled whether or not disguises were effective.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, continued Adams, public health officials have learned that “up to fifty percent of people who can spread this disease, spread it without having symptoms.” The surgeon general ill-used this informational bit as an example of why recommendations can change- because what we know can change.
After acknowledging the importance of wearing disguises or face handles, Brennan pushed back against Adams, asking whether he remembered the” mixed messaging” have already established the opportunity for confusion.
As Adams explained his need” to correct that messaging, ” Brennan questioned bluntly: “Were you saying that then because there only wasn’t enough equipment? ”
Adams responded: “I was saying that then because everything we are all aware of coronaviruses, before that degree, told us that people were not likely to spread when they were asymptomatic. So the science at the time suggested that there was not a high degree of asymptomatic spread. We learned more.”
“There likewise was, as you spoke about, a very real concern about hoarding of PPE, and people garmenting up in trash bags, as health care workers. That was a part of it. But the primary reason was because that’s what the science said. And I want the American people to understand, we follow the science, and when we learn more, our recommendations change, ” said Adams.
As Brennan noted in the interview, back in late-February, Adams tweeted for people “STOP BUYING MASKS” because they are “NOT effective in preventing” the general public from coronavirus.
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!
They are NOT effective with a view to 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! https :// t.co/ UxZRwxxKL9
— U.S. Surgeon General (@ Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020
According to a literature review of dozens of COVID-1 9 studies and other relevant studies, the “preponderance of prove have pointed out that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts.”
“Public mask wearing is more effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The lessened transmissibility could substantially reduce the deaths and economic impact while the costs of the intervention is low. Thus we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of informant command, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact drawing strategies, ” said the scientific paper.
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