Surgeon General: Trump Is 'Trying' to Change His Take on Masks

Jerome Adams appears on CBS' Face the Nation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 12, 2020 1:20 PM CDT
Surgeon General: Trump Is 'Trying to Correct' His Take on Masks
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks at the National Press Club about a campaign to raise awareness on the risks of veterans suicide, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday the Trump administration is "trying to correct" its guidance from earlier in the coronavirus epidemic that wearing face coverings was not necessary, the AP reports. With virus cases surging and many states and cities now issuing orders to wear masks in public, Adams said he and other administration officials were wrong back in March. But he insists they were going with the scientific knowledge at the time, which suggested that people with COVID-19 who showed no symptoms were not likely to spread the virus.

Adams said on CBS' Face the Nation that "once upon a time, we prescribed cigarettes for asthmatics and leeches and cocaine and heroin for people as medical treatments. When we learned better, we do better." Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, told Fox News Sunday that he would have liked to have seen administration officials wear masks sooner. He says it should not be viewed as a “personal choice” but a public health imperative. (Trump was seen wearing a mask in public for the first time Saturday.)

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