Excerpted from CNBC by Berkeley Lovelace Jr.and Will Feuer

The United States could get the coronavirus pandemic under control in one to two months if every American wore a mask, a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said Tuesday.

“The time is now,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said during an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “I think if we could get everybody to wear a mask right now I think in four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control.”

Both the CDC and the World Health Organization now recommend that people wear masks as a way to slow the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 13 million people worldwide and killed at least 574,600 as of Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“I think we’re being very clear now,” Redfield said. “Now’s the time to wear a mask.”

Scientists say the virus can spread through respiratory droplets that pass when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Studies suggest the masks may serve as a helpful barrier to spreading infection.
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