(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "The CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth-based covering." U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending Americans wear cloth face coverings on a voluntary basis to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump presented the news to the American public himself at the White House coronavirus task force daily briefing, but noted that it's not required.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "This is voluntary, I don't think I'm going to be doing it... "I'm feeling good.
I don't want to be doing it.
I don't know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office, behind that resolute desk, I think wearing that face mask, as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings and queens, I don't know, somehow I just don't see it for myself." U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said that the CDC's decision to update its recommendation on face masks was made to better prevent the transmission between people who don't show symptoms of COVID-19 but may still carry the virus, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like super markets and pharmacies or cities with a high number of cases.
But he urged Americans to leave the medical masks to the professionals.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SURGEON GENERAL JEROME ADAMS SAYING: "The cloth coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N95 respirators.
Those are critical supplied that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders." The task force still says that the most effective overall approach to slowing the spread of the coronavirus is social distancing and maintaining a gap of 6 feet between people -- guidance that will remain in place until April 30.