CDC Director Redfield suggests masks may be more effective than a coronavirus vaccine

In testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield stressed the importance of face masks to reduce the spread of coronavirus, and suggested that they could be more effective than a vaccine.

Video Transcript

ROBERT REDFIELD: Face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have, and I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings. I've said it, if we did it for 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks, we'd bring this pandemic under control. These actually-- we have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense.

I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine because the immunogenicity may be 70%. And if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This face mask will.

So I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility, particularly the 18- to 25-year-olds, where we're seeing the outbreak in America continue to go like this because we haven't got the acceptance, the personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.