Mike Pence on Coronavirus: ‘The Average American Does Not Need to Go Out and Buy a Mask’

Mike Pence, Medical Masks
ERIC BARADAT/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday advised Americans they did not need to purchase a medical mask to prepare for the coronavirus.

“Let me be very clear, and I’m sure the physicians who are up here will reflect this as well, the average American does not need to go out and buy a mask,” Pence said, adding that medical patients and health care staff would get prioritized.

The vice president and the president spoke to reporters about the ongoing government efforts to fight the virus in the White House press briefing on Saturday.

Trump said that 43 million masks were already available to the government, and Pence said that the government had already contracted with the manufacturing company 3M for more than 35 million masks per month.

But the president said that it was always good for Americans to be prepared with food and medical supplies.

“I think it is always good to be prepared,” he said. “I think it is always good, but we are super prepared.”

When asked if Americans should change their routines or daily lives to prepare for the virus, Trump replied, “I hope they don’t change their routine.”

Center of Disease Control Director Robert Redfield described the risk of contracting the virus as “low.”

“We’re continuing to aggressively investigate these new community links, we’re going to continue to be transparent in relating that to the American public, but at this stage, again, the risk is low,” he said. “We need to go on with our normal lives.”

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.