‘More guaranteed to protect me’ than vaccine: CDC director calls face masks ‘most important health tool we have’ to fight COVID-19
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifying before Congress (screengrab)

During an ABC News townhall event moderated by George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump once again downplayed the benefits of wearing protective face masks. But when Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday morning, he stressed that face masks are enormously helpful tools in the fight against coronavirus.


Asked about Trump’s comments, Redfield told senators, “I’m not going to comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that these face masks are the most important, powerful health tool we have. And I will continue to appeal for all Americans — all individuals in our country — to embrace these face coverings. I’ve said it: if we did it for six, eight, ten, 12 weeks, we’d bring this pandemic under control.”

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Holding up a blue face mask, Redfield added, “We have clear scientific evidence: they work, and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”

Redfield explained that when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available in the future, “If I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will. So, I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility — particularly the 18-25-year-olds….. We haven’t got the acceptance, the personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.”