(Bloomberg) -- Americans can use face coverings to lower their risk of getting the virus in cases where they inadvertently come within six feet of someone, one of Donald Trump’s top medical advisers said.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, acknowledged during a Fox News interview Friday morning that the U.S. will soon expand its recommendations and suggest Americans consider wearing face coverings in public. The percautin would be meant for cases where it’s impossible to stay six feet away from someone, such as at a pharmacy, he said.
“Because of that and because of some recent information that the virus can actually be spread even when people just speak, as opposed to coughing and sneezing, the better part of valor is that when you’re out, and you can’t maintain that six-foot distance, to wear some sort of facial covering,” he said.
Fauci stressed that the most important recommendation is still to keep six feet away from people, regardless of whether you’re wearing a face covering. And he said the face covering recommendation “should in no way ever take away from the availability of masks that are needed for the health-care providers.” The face covering recommendation is on top of the call to stay six feet away from people, “not as a substitute for it,” he said.
The U.S. continues to push to make antibody tests available, to better map the virus’s footprint, he said. However, Fauci cautioned that people who are producing antibodies can still possibly spread the virus. The virus’s toll in the U.S. is going to worsen before it improves, he said, but the social distancing measures are working and the U.S. will turn a corner.
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