[guest post by Dana]
The director of the CDC said today that, if one does not get immunity from the vaccine, wearing a face mask will provide protection:
Face coverings are “the most powerful public health tool” the nation has against the coronavirus and might even provide better protection against it than a vaccine, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told lawmakers Wednesday.
“We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said. “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 told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies that a potential coronavirus vaccine, which will likely be available in limited quantities by the end of this year, may only have an immunogenicity of 70%.
“If I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will,” Redfield told lawmakers while holding up a blue surgical face mask. He urged Americans, particularly those between 18 and 25 years old, to continue wearing face coverings, reiterating they could help bring the pandemic under control in a matter of weeks if people wore them universally.
Renowned infectious disease expert and virologist Dr. Donald J. Trump was compelled to correct the director:
At a White House press briefing later on Wednesday, the president said Redfield might have “misunderstood” the question by lawmakers, adding that masks are not as important as the vaccine. Trump said “perhaps” face masks help.
“I hope that the vaccine’s going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks,” Trump told reporters. “As far as the mask is concerned, he made a mistake.”
Though certainly not at the top of the list, among my reasons for wanting to see the pandemic end asap, is that arguments about the efficacy of masks will cease. Yet, more importantly, we will no longer have to hear Dr. Trump stupidly opine about masks and their lack of effectiveness.