CDC Director, On Oklahoma TV Station, Declares 'Masks Work,' With Or Without Mandates

Jul 28, 2020

Appearing as a guest on the Oklahoma City-area television station KOCO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield told Oklahomans that the state's continued increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths is not an inevitability. 

"We're not defenseless against this virus. This is a powerful weapon that we have: wearing a face mask, social distancing, washing our hands, staying out of crowded places, staying out of indoor restaurants that are crowded, and, obviously, bars," Redfield said. "If we practice those things, we can bring this outbreak really under control." (Bars and restaurants have not closed back down in Oklahoma.)

Asked whether governors should mandate masks, Redfield did not give a direct answer.

"I think I want to be very clear: Masks work," Redfield said. 

"I'm not sure that mandates make the American people more likely to use masks. I think the most important thing is to work to get all Americans to accept wearing a face covering as their very important responsibility. I'm reminded when President Kennedy said 'Don't ask for what your country can do for you, ask for what you can do for your country.'" (sic)

"I need everybody right now in the war against this coronavirus, to bring this outbreak -- and what I need everybody to do is wear a face covering," Redfield said.

Asked about schools reopening, Redfield said it should be the goal of every district to get back to face-to-face instruction as soon and as safely as possible, saying that a concern of his is poorer schools not being able to afford the resources needed for successful remote learning.