The surgeon general has a message for people who want to run out and stockpile masks to combat the coronavirus – don't.
"Seriously people - STOP BUYING MASKS!" Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted. "They are NOT effective in preventing 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!"
The upper-case emphasis is all his, and shows how adamant he is that people stick to the script for prevention offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His tweet links to that script, which includes a section that essentially agrees with Adams' take on masks.
"CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19," the CDC says. "Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others."
The CDC recommendations add that "the use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings."
You may want to read
1) When a mask is a must
2) Healthy people don't need to wear surgical masks: Experts