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The CDC Director Just Said the Most Inspiring Thing 

Robert Redfield spoke of the humanitarian reason to ‘mask up.’
man with surgical face mask and sunglasses outdoors
As a political touchpoint, face masks have been the center of controversy this summer, with various factions promoting them to save lives and others saying it's all overblown hogwash. One scientist, however, believes in "masking up"—and he talked about it yesterday. The director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, spoke with Dr. Howard Bauchner of the Journal of the American Medical Association about the states he's worried about the most (Middle America, like Oklahoma and Nebraska), and urged Americans to get their flu shots. He also implored Americans to wear their face masks, appealing to their humanitarian sides with an inspirational message.

Related: Sure Signs You've Had Coronavirus

"I Wear My Mask…to Protect You," he said.

The outbreak has resulted in "a big loss of life," Redfield said, underlining what's at stake. "This is why, if there's a message from us from a public health point of view, the most important thing we can do is do everything we can to protect the vulnerable around us—not just those in nursing homes, but also those of us that are elderly that might have certain comorbidities, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, kidney disease, lung disease—we all have an important role to play." Then he laid down his inspirational message, one he hopes will break through to skeptics: "I always say, well, the reason I wear my mask, it's not to protect me, I wear my mask in case I'm infected to protect you. Cause I want COVID to stop with me." 

He went on to describe a harrowing scenario that could happen to anyone if they are not careful. "When you're that young 30 year old and you don't think there's a big deal"—to wear a mask—"if you get COVID, the problem is if you're jogging through Central Park and there's two 85-year-olds sitting on the bench and you have to sneeze when you go by them," and they could get COVID-19 and die. "It's an important thing that all of us try to control the pandemic to protect the vulnerable."

Here's How You 'Can Get This Outbreak Under Control'

This wasn't the first time a leading health official encouraged empathy to promote face mask use. Before having a polyp removed from his vocal cord, rendering him temporarily speechless, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation's leading infectious disease expert, appealed to the same side. "A risk for you is not just isolated to you. If you get infected, you are innocently or inadvertently responsible for propagating the pandemic," he has repeated many times.

As for staying safe during this pandemic, Redfield reiterated his message during the interview.  "We don't have to close retail, you don't have to lock down," said Redfield. "We really just need to wear face coverings when we can't social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds. Particularly obviously the overcrowding that occurs in bars and indoor restaurants, and we can get this outbreak under control." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.

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