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White House COVID-19 Coordinator Says At Least 1/3 of America Should Be Masking [VIDEO]

White House COVID-19 Coordinator Says At Least 1/3 of America Should Be Masking [VIDEO]

Last week, White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha warned in an interview with the Associated Press that the U.S. will be “increasingly vulnerable” to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments.

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are putting more of the country under renewed guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that call for masking and other precautions. About a third of the U.S. population lives in areas that are considered at higher risk, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest. Those are areas where people should already be considering wearing masks indoors, but Americans elsewhere should also take notice, Dr. Jha said.

FILE – Linsey Jones, a medical assistant working at a drive-up COVID-19 testing clinic, wears an N95 mask, Jan. 4, 2022, in Puyallup, Wash., south of Seattle. The Biden administration will begin making 400 million N95 masks available for free to Americans starting next week, now that federal officials are emphasizing their better protection against the omicron variant of COVID-19 over cloth face coverings. The White House announced Wednesday that the masks will come from the government’s Strategic National Stockpile, which has more than 750 million of the highly protective masks on hand. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

For an increasing number of areas, “we urge local leaders to encourage the use of prevention strategies like masks in public indoor settings and increasing access to testing and treatment,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky at a White House briefing with reporters.

However, the CDC officials were cautious about making concrete predictions, saying how much worse the pandemic gets will depend on several factors, including to what degree previous infections will protect against new variants. Dr. Jha warned that without additional funding from Congress for the virus would cause “unnecessary loss of life” in the fall and winter, when the U.S. runs out of treatments.

 

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