Recently, Louie Gohmert, who is the Texas Republican Representative, has tested positive for the coronavirus infection. In accordance with the congressman’s latest statement, he caught the infection because of wearing a mask for coronavirus in public spaces.
Gohmert is known for actively voicing against the use of face coverings for the control of the infection while saying that the practice is unnecessary and does not make a ‘significant’ difference in the risk for catching the virus.
This advice goes directly against the suggestions from all health agencies in different countries including the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the World Health Organization.
Since the early days of the pandemic, the majority of the health experts and the medical community, in general, have insisted on the use of face coverings in all age groups.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, face masks have been used in other health epidemics as well. Data from similar health crisis show that areas that mandated face coverings had far fewer cases in comparison with those areas that did not.
Now, the latest studies have also shown that airborne transmission of the coronavirus is also possible, which makes face coverings more important than ever especially in indoor public spaces where there is an increased risk of transmission.
In addition, wearing a face mask for coronavirus can also help in the prevention of transmission in asymptomatic cases. According to the WHO, nearly eighty percent of the people with the virus have little to no symptoms of the infection.
This is why the transmission rate is high and easy since many of the people with the infection are unaware of having it. Wearing a mask cuts down the chances of spreading in both those with and without symptoms.
The recent surge in coronavirus cases in the US has been linked to people not following preventive measures for the virus including wearing a mask anymore. Health experts and increasingly suggesting that all states mandate the use of wearing a face covering.
However, since there are many people including government officials that are speaking against the use of face coverings and politicizing the issue, it has been difficult to impose stricter restrictions on the virus.
The statement by the congressman Gohmert can further discourage people to wear a mask. Instead of suggesting people follow measures after catching the virus himself, Gohmert is saying that it is the face mask itself that gave him coronavirus.
During his interview with NBC affiliate KETK, the congressman said “There are an awful lot of people that think it’s a great thing to do all the time but I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t been wearing a mask so much in the last ten days or so, I really wonder if I would have gotten it,”
According to Gohmert, he may have caught the infection due to constantly wearing his mask after moving it around.
It is true that a person can catch a virus from the mask but this is only possible after he touches the mask with dirty hands.
This is why the CDC suggests washing hands before removing and wearing a mask, washing the mask itself, and not putting the mask in potentially contaminated surfaces.
Wearing a mask for coronavirus itself cannot give a person the infection. It is important to read and follow all of the guidelines strictly.