America Needs a National Mask Mandate ASAP

There’s precious little time to prevent hundreds of thousands more deaths

Robert Roy Britt
Medium Coronavirus Blog
9 min readOct 24, 2020

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Photo by Noah on Unsplash

Remember Friday, October 23, 2020 as the day America stood at the abyss, staring at a looming perfect pandemic storm threatening a horrific winter of overcrowded hospitals, deepening economic catastrophe, and hundreds of thousands more deaths. And its leaders did nothing.

On October 23, the United States set a record for new daily Covid-19 cases, above 80,000 for the first time, while Covid hospitalizations were already rising significantly, and deaths had started creeping back up, including deaths in nursing homes — revealing that the country has not figured out how to protect its most vulnerable. Cases counts are rising or high and staying high in 80% of states, with deaths now rising in two dozen states and poised to accelerate given the simple fact that it typically takes a few weeks for the disease to take a life.

On October 23, a study published in the journal Nature Medicine projected a national mask mandate, all by itself, could prevent U.S. 130,000 deaths between now and the end of February.

On October 23, Tom Frieden, MD, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that if national policy on pandemic prevention does not turn on a…

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Robert Roy Britt
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor of Aha! and Wise & Well on Medium + the Writer's Guide at writersguide.substack.com. Author of Make Sleep Your Superpower: amazon.com/dp/B0BJBYFQCB