- U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was criticized for recommending the public not use masks despite the coronavirus pandemic.
- Adams said that medical centers and staff could face a shortage of protective equipment, including masks.
- Data from Japan and South Korea suggest masks are critical in containing the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been heavily criticized for recommending people to refrain from using masks unless they have fallen ill. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams echoed the message, despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is worsening by the day.
General Adams said on Mar. 29:
WHO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) & my office have consistently recommended against the general public wearing masks as there is scant or conflicting evidence they benefit individual wearers in a meaningful way, but real concerns about pulling from the healthcare worker supply.
The message comes after studies found that countries like Japan and South Korea owed much of their containment efforts to the voluntary use of masks by the general public.
Don’t wear masks unless you’re sick: this is a bad advice
The coronavirus pandemic has quickly swept across the U.S., infecting a staggering 188,000 people. The surge has prompted Dr Anthony Fauci, Washington’s infectious disease expert, to predict up to 200,000 deaths in the U.S. alone.
Countries that have been relatively successful in containing the virus early have relied on three key methods: encouraging the use of masks, a well-planned social distancing system and large-scale testing capacity.
As reported by NHK of Japan, scientists are weighing whether coronavirus contains micro particles that could magnify the spread of the novel disease.
Kazuhiro Tateda, president of the Japanese Association for Infectious Disease, says micrometer particles can spread even when people are simply conversing with each other, not merely through sneezes and coughs.
Without masks, the dose of micrometer particles that could enter one’s body increases, raising the probability of coronavirus infection.
For that reason, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and China have practiced strict usage of masks at all times. The numbers show that it’s working.
As of Apr. 1, the number of cases in the U.S. and Europe have surpassed the number of cases in Asia.
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South Korea, Japan and Singapore all have under 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with China peaking at around 82,000 cases.
All precautions to combat coronavirus are crucial
Some health experts, like General Adams, are arguing that if individuals attempt to hoard all masks in the commercial market, medical centers and staff may face a shortage.
Hospitals in local epicenters of the coronavirus such as New York are overwhelmed with patients, and are struggling with a shortage of ventilators, protective equipment and N95 masks.
But the recommendation to the general public to ease mask usage risks a faster spread of the coronavirus, countering efforts of all governments across the world to slow down the spread of the virus.
Renowned philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb condemned Adams’ statement:
The Surgeon General should be sued.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.