Update: March 31, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is giving “serious consideration” to broadening the existing guidance on face masks.
Update: April 2, 2020, Trump admin moves toward promoting broader use of face masks
For the first time in our blog, I'm writing somewhat politically charged posts, but I've realized how important it is to help people funnel through the information that's out there. First, let me present some fact and then I'll give you what I think is pretty much the most logical conclusion on face masks.
On February 27th, 2020 the CDC tweeted: "CDC does not currently recommend the use of facemasks to help prevent novel #coronavirus"
On March 1, 2020, the Surgeon General said "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!"
On March 3, 2020, a senior official with the Strategic National Stockpile said that the "department intends to purchase as many as 500 million respirators and face masks over the next 18 months."
On March 4, 2020 the Department of Health and Human Services stated that they only have 1% of the "required respirator masks that would be needed for medical professionals if the COVID-19 outbreak were to erupt into a pandemic here."
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.
On March 11, 2020, a bill is drafted to put give face mask manufactures "blanket liability" so that they do not have to fear lawsuits in quickly producing face masks.
I hope you can see that there is a logical conclusion here. If not, then let me break it down for you. The USA is well understocked for face masks and respirators for healthcare professionals. In fact, only 1% is available. Therefore, the Strategic National Stockpile is planning to purchase up to 500 million respirators and face masks in the next 18 months. The government needs to speed up production so much that they are potentially freeing all manufacturers of face masks of all legal liability, or "blanket liability."
I hope there isn't any doubt that the government NEEDS the face masks to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. Let me put it to you in another way, healthcare workers are humans and face masks protect them from COVID-19.
So, why would non-healthcare workers, who are also human, not be protected by face masks? Simple answer, the surgeon general and CDC knows that the majority of people will not know the correct procedure of putting on masks, which include fit/seal testing, the correct procedure to take off a face mask, and finally the correct procedure of disposing of a face masks. Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth in that and honestly I can't argue that.
For example, people in the San Francisco Bay Area are OK with wearing N95 masks during the wild fires, but in this situation they are afraid that people will think they are sick. So, OK to wear a face mask during wildfires, not OK to wear a face mask during a viral pandemic. That's the pure level of stupidity we're dealing with.
Professionals are trained on the topic, but guess what. It's literally not rocket science. 3M, the manufacturer of most of the face masks, has instructional guides on youtube.
Anyway, that's my conclusion and my prediction is that when we get deeper into this pandemic, which is only going to get worse according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, people who were making fun on those wearing masks are going to change their minds just as quickly as they were to make judgement on those wearing them.
Update (March 31, 2020): No surprise, but my prediction that I made over 2 weeks ago seems like it's coming closer to being true. Dr Anthony Fauci, as well as the CDC, is slowly backtracking about wearing face masks. My next prediction is that once there are enough face masks for health care workers, all americans will be advised to wear them from Fauci and the CDC. BTW, the stock ticker symbol for 3M is MMM.
South Korea's version of Dr. Fauci is Dr. Kim Woo-Joo and in this interview he did with the YouTube Channel "Asian boss," he understands why the US and European countries are not suggesting face masks (limited supply), but he also believes it's a mistake to say that face masks do not help.
Please stay safe and healthy and good luck.