Top Coronavirus Expert: Americans Will be Wearing Masks for ‘Several Years’
Eric Toner says mask wearing is vital to defense against COVID-19
A senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has warned that Americans could be living with mask-wearing and social distancing for the next seven years due to the coronavirus.
Eric Toner has been preparing for an outbreak like the novel coronavirus or years as part of his work.
As part of the preparedness protocol, Johns Hopkins practices virus simulations intending to offer policymakers a blueprint of what to do in a pandemic.
One such simulation took place in 2019 when Toner and other researchers staged coronavirus pandemic simulation in New York.
The group ran through multiple scenarios on how residents, private businesses, and governments would respond.
But Toner said one thing that stood out; the mask-wearing was a vital defense to stop the spread of the virus.
Toner also believes OVID-19 won’t slow down in the U.S as states begin to reopen.
“There's going to be no summertime lull with a big wave in the fall,” he said as part of CNET’s Hacking the Apocalypse series.
“It's clear that we are having a significant resurgence of cases in the summer, and they'll get bigger. And it'll keep going until we lock things down again.”
So far, the U.S added around 43,000 positive COVID-19 cases to its 2.9 million total, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reported.
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Toner added that until there is a vaccine, the best defence against the virus is wearing a mask.
“I think that mask-wearing and some degree of social distancing, we will be living with — hopefully living with happily — for several years,” he said.
“It's actually pretty straightforward. If we cover our faces, and both you and anyone you're interacting with are wearing a mask, the risk of transmission goes way down.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently he was cautiously optimistic there could be a vaccine by 2021.
Toner slammed those refusing to wear a mask, saying hey will eventually wise up.
“They will get over it," he says.
"It's just a question of how many people get sick and die before they get over it."
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for a “long overdue” mandatory face mask requirement to implemented across the US.
When Pelosi was asked if it was time to mandate face masks, she replied:
“Oh, it’s definitely long overdue for that."
“And my understanding is that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended the use of masks but not required it because they don’t want offend the president," Pelosi claimed.
President Donald Trump said earlier this month that while he supported wearing face masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19, he said he didn't recommend making them mandatory.
"Well, I don’t know if you need 'mandatory,' because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance," Trump said.