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CDC: Yes, You Should Wear a Cloth Mask

Trump says the guidance is voluntary, and he probably won't do so
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2020 5:51 PM CDT

(Newser) – The CDC is shifting course and recommending that everybody wear simple cloth masks while out in public. President Trump made the announcement at his Friday coronavirus briefing, reports the New York Times. Trump stressed that high-grade N95 masks should be reserved for health care workers. He also said the guidance is voluntary and that he probably wouldn't be wearing one. “You can do it. You don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it,” Trump said. “It’s only a recommendation.” Health officials including Dr. Deborah Birx have stressed that such masks should not give wearers a false sense of security, and she emphasized that the two big principles of the day still apply—adhere to social distancing and wash your hands often.

Advocates say a big benefit of the masks is that they could help limit the spread of the disease by containing the air droplets emitted by infected people, especially those who may not realize they are infected.

  • Make one: All kinds of how-to's are available on the internet, and MarketWatch includes instructions for what it says is the simplest DIY mask out there. No sewing is necessary, but you'd need a large paper clip and safety pins. Another guide is at Today.com.
  • Alabama: Also Friday, Trump said he had no plans to institute a nationwide stay-at-home order and would instead leave it up to governors. On Friday, Alabama's Kay Ivey became the latest holdout to issue one for her state, reports the Washington Post. The virus is "an imminent threat to our way of life," Ivey said.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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