Masks 'may increase coronavirus risk if worn improperly'
The US surgeon general not only wants people to stop buying facemasks to prevent the novel coronavirus, but warns that you actually might increase your risk of infection if facemasks are not worn properly.
Dr Jerome Adams, who is effectively the leading doctor in the US and also serves on the US COVID-19 task force, explained why they can actually help spread the virus.
"You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider," Adams said during an interview on Fox & Friends.
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"Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus," Adams said.
"We're certainly seeing more spread in communities, but it's important for folks to know that right now their risk as American citizens remains low. There are things people can do to stay safe. There are things they shouldn't be doing and one of the things they shouldn't be doing in the general public is going out and buying masks," he said.
On Sunday, Adams posted on Twitter that people should stop buying masks. Rather, he tweeted that to keep yourself and those around you healthy, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and disinfect surfaces.
Adams also tweeted on Sunday that if the general public purchases a majority of the facemask supply and if health care providers can't get them to care for sick patients, "it puts them and our communities at risk!"