//CDC Director Ripped Over Claim On Mask Effectiveness: ‘Does He Expect People To Believe That?’

CDC Director Ripped Over Claim On Mask Effectiveness: ‘Does He Expect People To Believe That?’

Critics slammed Robert Redfield, who heads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), after he testified that face masks may be more effective than a COVID-19 vaccine.

Redfield made the controversial statements while testifying in front of the Senate on Wednesday on the coronavirus pandemic.

“I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%. And if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will,” Redfield said.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield makes it as clear as he can: "This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine." pic.twitter.com/Ul0Ppj5qqv

— The Recount (@therecount) September 16, 2020

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume jumped on Redfield for saying that masks can protect the wearer from the virus. Previously, mask-wearing has been touted as a courtesy or a duty to protect others in case the wearer is infected with the coronavirus.

“For months we’ve been told we should wear masks not so much to protect ourselves as to protect others. Now the head of the CDC is claiming that a mask will protect the wearer better than a vaccine. Does he expect people to believe that?” Hume said.

For months we’ve been told we should wear masks not so much to protect ourselves as to protect others. Now the head of the CDC is claiming that a mask will protect the wearer better than a vaccine. Does he expect people to believe that?

— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 17, 2020

President Trump contradicted Redfield at a press conference later in the day, saying, “As far as the masks are concerned, I hope that the vaccine is going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks.”

Redfield tried to clarify his testimony by releasing a statement over Twitter.

“I 100% believe in the importance of vaccines and the importance in particular of a #COVID19 vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine is the thing that will get Americans back to normal everyday life,” Redfield said. “The best defense we currently have against this virus are the important mitigation efforts of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing and being careful about crowds. #COVID19”

The best defense we currently have against this virus are the important mitigation efforts of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing and being careful about crowds. #COVID19

— Dr. Robert R. Redfield (@CDCDirector) September 16, 2020

Redfield’s comments on masks are another twist in health officials evolving recommendations. At the beginning of March when the pandemic was picking up, U.S. health officials played down the effectiveness of masks in order to keep people from buying them.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams wrote a message on Twitter saying, “Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, admitted in June that health officials were not upfront with the America people over the effectiveness of masks. Fauci said health officials downplayed masks to prevent a run on the limited supply.

“We wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected,” Fauci said.

Related: CDC Director: Threat Of Suicide, Drugs, Flu To Youth ‘Far Greater’ Than Covid

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