Surgeon General Jerome Adams Tuesday doubled down on his advice against healthy people wearing face masks to protect themselves from coronavirus, saying that wearing one improperly can "actually increase your risk" of getting the disease.
"What the World Health Organization and the CDC have reaffirmed in the last few days is that they do not recommend the general public wear masks," Adams told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "There was a study in 2015 looking at medical students. And medical students wearing surgical masks touch their faces on average 23 times. We know a major way that you can get respiratory diseases like coronavirus is by touching a surface and then touching your face."
Masks also can give the wearer a "false sense of security" and can encourage people to be too close to each other, said Adams, and further, there are still mask shortages nationwide.
People who are sick should wear masks, said Adams, but acknowledged that if healthy people feel better by wearing a mask, "by all means, wear it" but they should not touch their faces.
He also insisted the general public should not wear medical-style N95 masks, because they must be fitted properly to avoid infection.
"There may be a day where we change our recommendation, particularly for areas that have large spread going on, about wearing cotton masks but again the data is not there yet," said Adams.
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