The US surgeon general put out a bluntly worded tweet to Americans on Saturday: "Seriously people - STOP BUYING MASKS!"
Jerome Adams is addressing the current trend of buying up and hoarding face masks over coronavirus fears. He's not alone in saying that the masks won't save you from contracting the coronavirus while commuting or grocery shopping, but they do help health professionals working with infected patients in a closed environment.
Meanwhile, uninfected people around the world are hoarding them and Jerome Adams wants you to stop buying them. The online rush on masks has led to price gouging and the proliferation of counterfeits. The masks are best at keeping the wearer from spreading the virus, a World Health Organization official says. The CDC says they're what health workers should wear, but even those masks aren't effective at protecting uninfected people. On expert says, "The viral particles are too small" to be filtered out. So stop buying and hoarding them!"