UPDATED 7:16 AM PT – Thursday, January 28, 2021
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently explained why the agency is not recommending the general public wear N95 masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview Wednesday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky clarified that while some medical experts have argued they provide superior protection compared to other mask types, the CDC believes requiring their use might be counterproductive.
The public health official explained she’s concerned people may be less inclined to keep their masks on if they are wearing an N95. Dr. Walensky noted how uncomfortable these types of masks can be and how difficult they can make it to breathe.
“They’re hard to tolerate all day, everyday and, in fact, when you really think about how well people will wear them, I worry that if we suggest or require that people wear N95’s they won’t wear them all the time,” she explained. “They’re very hard to breathe in, they’re very hard to tolerate when you wear them for long periods of time.”
The DPA will also increase production of N95 masks & personal protective equipment. Most Americans wear cloth masks, but other countries are making filtering face piece (FFP) masks mandatory b/c they are more effective, especially given the more contagious COVID strain. pic.twitter.com/ZiyMGbPgkO
— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 22, 2021
However, Dr. Walensky still recommends wearing multi-layered face masks to mitigate further spread of the coronavirus.