Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public? Health Experts Revisit The Question

by Huo Jingnan, Allison Aubrey, Carmel Wroth, NPR
March 31, 2020


Even without symptoms, you might have the virus and be able to spread it when out in public, say researchers who now are reconsidering the use of surgical masks. — Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Wearing a mask is ‘an additional layer of protection for those who have to go out,’ former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told NPR in an interview. It’s a step you can take — on top of washing your hands and avoiding gatherings.

In a paper outlining a road map to reopen the country, Gottlieb argues that the public should be encouraged to wear masks during this current period of social distancing, for the common good.

‘Face masks will be most effective at slowing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 if they are widely used, because they may help prevent people who are asymptomatically infected from transmitting the disease unknowingly,’ Gottlieb wrote. Gottlieb points to South Korea and Hong Kong — two places that were shown to manage their outbreaks successfully and where face masks are used widely.“

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