White House expert urges using masks in public

A member of the White House coronavirus task force says that despite a surge in cases across the United States, the situation “is not out of control.”

Brett Giroir says it’s going to take “a lot of effort and everybody’s going to have to do their part” to combat the pandemic.

The assistant secretary at the Health and Human Services Department says that “we have to have people wearing a mask in public. It’s absolutely essential.”

Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, April 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Giroir tells ABC’s “This Week” that officials would like to see something like 90 percent of people wearing a mask in public in areas that are hot spots.

He says that “if we don’t have that, we will not get control of the virus.” Giroir says there’s no downside to wearing a mask.

When Giroir is asked about whether states that are seeing a spike in cases should consider more stringent lockdowns, he says: “Everything should be on the table.”

Looking ahead, Giroir says it’s possible that the situation “could be worse in the fall” and he thinks that in the fall “we’re going to need tens of millions of more tests a month.” He also says there’s some data that people can get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time and “that’s not really good.”

— AP