U.S. CDC head says mask-wearing could get COVID-19 under control within 4-8 weeks

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) arrive with a patient to Jackson Health Center, where the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients are treated, in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 14, 2020. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona

(Reuters) - U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said on Tuesday that if all Americans wore a mask, the rising cases of COVID-19 could be under control within four to eight weeks.

Redfield was speaking in an online interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, a medical publication.

“I think if we can get everyone to wear masks right now, we can bring this under control within four, six, eight weeks,” Redfield said.

The CDC director also said wearing a mask was a public health issue and that he was “sad” to see it become so politicized.

“I am glad to see the president and vice president wear a mask. Clearly, in their situation they could easily justify they don’t need to ... but we need for them to set the example,” Redfield said.

The CDC said in a publication released on Tuesday that most Americans wore cloth face-coverings after the government recommended their use in April.

Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney