The CDC Director Just Made This Desperate Plea to Young Americans

A growing body of evidence shows just how influential this one behavior can be.

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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is imploring young Americans to do this "critical" thing to fight the growing scourge of coronavirus cases: wear a mask.

During a Senate hearing on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, Robert Redfield, MD, the head of the CDC, said, "It is critical that we all take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings."

He then directly spoke to young Americans, saying, "Specifically, I'm addressing the younger members of our society, the millennials and the Generation Zs—I ask those that are listening to spread the word."

There is a growing body of evidence that wearing masks is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  A study out of Virginia Commonwealth University reveals compelling evidence that those countries that quickly enacted widespread mask use had far lower death rates than those that didn't. And a study conducted by Cambridge University released in June came to a similar conclusion. "While the sooner the better—a policy of total face mask adoption can still prevent a second wave even if it isn't instigated until 120 days after an epidemic begins," the researchers said.

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The ubiquitous wearing of masks in public has been something of a political football in this hyper-partisan time. Some states are making public mask-wearing mandatory, while others are only recommending it, but not deeming it a requirement. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer study found that states that recommend their residents wear masks—but do not require it—have seen new coronavirus cases rise by 84 percent over the last two weeks. The states that mandate wearing masks in public, however, have seen new cases drop 25 percent over the last two weeks. And for more on the states that aren't faring well, check out More Than Half of States Are Ignoring This One Pivotal CDC Guideline.

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