Phantom Menace: The CDC Eyes Telling Americans to Mask Themselves in Public

(Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)

Fans wearing “Star Wars” character masks Darth Vader, left, and Boba Fett attend day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 9, 2015, in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Tonya Wise/Invision/AP)




Have you noticed people wearing masks at the grocery store?

On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and major point man for Trump’s Wuhan flu task force — explained that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the President are considering whether to urge Americans to cover their their noses and mouths when they go out.

One reason not to: Experts don’t wanna see healthcare workers’ access to masks diminished.

In the doc’s words, as per The New York Times:

“When we get in a situation where we have enough masks, I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening [of guidelines, including the wearing of masks]. We’re not there yet.”

While the jury’s out on the N95 masks nurses are daily sporting, a non-medical covering of the face might be a good idea.

Trump was asked about such during Monday’s briefing.

“That’s certainly something we could discuss,” he replied. “It could be something like that for a limited period of time.”

As observed by The Daily Wire, John Hopkins Center for Health Security Director Thomas Inglesby told The Washington Post the CDC should tell folks to put on some non-medical protection:

“I think it would be a prudent step we can all take to reduce transmission…”

He was speaking of people who are infected yet have no symptoms.


Thomas also noted that DIY masks should serve as no excuse to compromise social distancing.

TDW notes that the beginnings of the virus saw mass-purchasing and hoarding of much-needed N95 masks.

Online, some were purportedly going for as much as $75 or more.

That crappy craze prompted U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams to insist people stop it:

“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing (the) general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

He offered ways for regular folks to defend against COVID-19:

“The best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness.”

Jerome told Americans to get their flu shot, which would free up “more resources” for fighting the coronavirus.


And also:

“There are simple steps YOU can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and wipe down surfaces with cleaning solution or wipes.”

Now here’s a bit of a curve ball: In early March, Jerome proposed to Fox & Friends that wearing a mask could help spread the virus:

“There are things people can do to stay safe. There are things they shouldn’t be doing, and one of the things they shouldn’t be doing, the general public, is going out and buying masks. … It’s not been proven to be effective in preventing spread of coronavirus amongst the general public. … Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus. You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider.”

So it seems the issue’s a bit up in the air at the moment. But eventually, if supplies allow for it, everyone at your local Walmart may look like a surgeon.


The whole thing makes me wish I had my old get up: I’d love to pick up some toiletries in full Darth Vader garb.

That’s one thing you gotta give the Dark Lord of the Force — he seemed rather impervious to communicable disease.

Either way, with couples everywhere staying home, come January, it’s likely a whole bunch of American men will be quoting Anakin Skywalker: “I am your father.”



See 3 more pieces from me:

Are People Doing Something as Stupid as Throwing ‘Corona Parties’? Yes. Yes They Are

Not a Lick of Sense: Social Media ‘Influencer’ Who Tongued a Toilet Seat Now Claims to Have Caught the Virus

Hilarious: In Response to Social Distancing, a Las Vegas Strip Club Opens a Drive-Thru

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