President Donald Trump said Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had decided to recommend Americans wear cloth masks in public.
“The CDC is advising the use of nonmedical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure,” Trump said. “So it’s voluntary. You don’t have to do it.”
The president said that Americans could purchase a cloth mask or make one themselves at home.
“This is voluntary,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”
He cautioned that the CDC did not recommend medical masks, as they were needed for medical workers.
“Medical protective gear must be reserved for the frontline healthcare workers that are performing these vital services,” Trump said.
The president reminded all Americans that the mask recommendation did not replace the social distancing guidelines, as expressed by Dr. Deborah Birx on Thursday.
“We don’t want people to get an artificial sense of protection because they’re behind a mask,” Birx said during the White House press briefing on Thursday.
First lady Melania Trump also recommended that Americans wear a mask.
“As the weekend approaches, I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously,” she wrote on Twitter. “is a virus that can spread to anyone – we can stop this together.”
As the weekend approaches I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. #COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone – we can stop this together.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) April 3, 2020