The CDC Director Just Went on TV With This COVID-19 Warning
With coronavirus cases climbing across the country, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the President's remarks yesterday, that things will get worse before they get better. The head of the CDC also pointedly revealed the one thing he thinks could curb the outbreaks in a matter of weeks. Click through to see what he said.
On the Most Powerful Tool We Have Against COVID-19
"It's important to realize that this is the greatest public health crisis that our nations faced in more than a century. I will say though, we're, we're new in learning about this fire. So it is very hard to predict. Clearly, though, we have a significant upsurge of the outbreak. Now what I'd like to focus on is what we can do that to counterbalance that. And I've said before, we're not defenseless. We have powerful tools, probably the most powerful tool that we have is a simple face mask. If all Americans would embrace that as part of their personal responsibility to confront this outbreak, we could actually have a very significant impact on the outbreak that we're seeing across the country in the next 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks. That's the first thing that I would encourage."
On Why There Isn't a Face Mask Mandate, Like Seat Belt Laws
"It's really a question of how do you get the American people to embrace that social responsibility. Now, some governors have done it, obviously with mandates, other governors have done it through example. I think our key is just to let the American public know how important this is and how important it is that we wear these masks and wash our hands. And really if we did these simple, simple acts, we could in fact…hold over the next four, six, eight weeks. I think largely it's dependent upon how we respond to our request, everyone to embrace their own personal social responsibility, to become part of the solution by wearing masks and washing hands, and really thinking smartly about when they're in gathering so that they don't get in crowded situations."
On Why He Doesn't Fight for a Nationwide Mask Mandate
"I'm not sure that mandating makes—I think the issue is how to motivate all Americans to do that. It's obviously an independent decision that the individual governors are making. I think at this point, you know, what we're trying to do is let people understand the most important public health measure that they can take—that this could be getting worse before it gets better, is they could be part of making this get better before it gets worse by wearing a face covering. And that's what I'm going to continue to do. I think we have clear data now that face masks work, and now the key is now how to get everybody to embrace them."
On Kids Returning to Schools
"It's really important to get our schools open. As I've said, it's not public health versus opening the schools for the economy, it's public health versus public health. I think there really are a number of negative public health consequences that have happened to our K through 12, by having these schools closed. And so it's so important now to work together with school districts, to figure out how they can take our guidelines and operationalize them in a practical way, and to do it in a way that's safe for those that are vulnerable. And in one of the most important things is going to be, uh, the role of face mask and the role of social distancing in those classes."
On Sending His Own Kids Back to School
"Absolutely. Absolutely. The only one that there may be some reservation is with the grandson with cystic fibrosis, depending on how he can be accommodated in the school that he's in. But my other 10 grandchildren, of those eight of them are school age, a hundred percent that they can get back to school."
How You Can Avoid COVID-19
To stay healthy no matter what, get tested if you think you have COVID-19, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), wear a face mask, practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 37 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.