In June 2020, rumors about the efficacy of wearing face masks during the coronavirus pandemic made rounds online, although it is a topic that has been cleared by health experts and debunked by numerous news sites.
Is there no need to wear a mask?
In March 2020, the show "60 Minutes" did an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leading members of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force.
The interview is going around in social media again, and in the said interview, Dr. Fauci said that there is no need for people in the United States to wear a mask.
However, the clip is old and Dr. Fauci was just echoing what a lot of people have argued at that time, including the World Health Organization or WHO, the U.S Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
Dr. Fauci's views and the views of the said organizations have changed as the cases of COVID-19 in the country rises and more information about the disease became available.
In the clip that aired in March 2020, Dr. Fauci said that the Americans should not be walking around with masks, and they should think of healthcare providers who are needing face masks and those who are ill.
In April 2020, the CDC recommended that everyone should wear cloth masks whenever they are out in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The recommendations of the CDC has changed because of numerous studies found that even those without coronavirus symptoms, but may still have the disease, could still transmit the virus through close interactions with other people, especially through coughing, sneezing and speaking.
Cloth face masks should be worn in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, including in pharmacies and grocery stores.
Dr. Fauci clarified in an interview that he did in June that wearing masks are actually helpful, but in order to flatten the curve, wearing masks and physical distancing are important. The CDC also clarified that wearing masks should not be a substitute for social distancing.
A study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed the infection rate trends in New York and Italy before and after the wearing of face masks were made mandatory.
The researchers wrote that both areas showed that the infection rates flatten after face masks were made mandatory.
According to the calculations of the researchers, wearing face masks helped prevent 78,000 infections in Italy and 66,000 infections in New York City. The researchers also wrote that wearing of face masks in public is one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of the virus, and it is also an easy and inexpensive practice.
This should also be partnered with quarantine, social distancing and contact tracing. These steps and precautions can help stop the spread of the coronavirus, before the vaccine is developed.
As for the United States, the country has hit 2,170,042 coronavirus cases as of June 2020, with more than 117,951 deaths and 870,640 recovered cases.