Osterholm: Face Cloth Coverings Are Not Effective, We Need to Talk About N-95 Respirators
OSTERHOLM: “First of all, we’re in a very unfortunate situation. We’ve really brought this country to a point of confusion, which really misses the main point that we should be focusing on vaccine, vaccine, and vaccine. You know, I wish we could get rid of the term 'masking' because, in fact, it implies anything you put in front of your face works. And if I could just add a nuance to that, which hopefully doesn’t add more confusion, is we know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out. Either you’re breathing out or you're breathing in. In fact, if you’re in the Upper Midwest right now, anybody who is wearing a face cloth covering can tell you they can smell all the smoke that we're still getting. We need to talk about better masking. We need to talk about N-95 respirators, which would do a lot for both people who are not yet vaccinated or not previously infected, protecting them, as well as keeping others who might become infected having been vaccinated from breathing out the virus. So I think one of the things right now is we’ve got to get a better handle on what does protect people and what doesn’t."