The nation’s death count has almost reached 130,000. Over the last week, the US has recorded its highest numbers of coronavirus cases to date: around 47,000 daily cases, on average. Friday marked the peak of the outbreak so far, with more than 56,000 cases. New cases are now rising in the majority of states.
In recent weeks, public-health experts have amplified their call for a nationwide mask mandate to reduce coronavirus transmission. At least 21 states have instituted a statewide mask mandate so far, but the specifics differ state to state, and some cities and counties have implemented their own policies.
“More attention and commitment to a national directive and national policy for face masks is critically important,” Dr. Howard Koh, former assistant secretary for health under President Obama, told Business Insider. “We have 50 states going in 50 different directions.”
Dr. Theo Vos, a professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), told Business Insider that mask-wearing has “quite a potential to make a substantial dent in this epidemic.”
IHME’s coronavirus models, which are often cited by the White House, predict another 50,000 coronavirus deaths from July to October in the US. The researchers found that nearly half of those deaths could be prevented if 95% of the US population wore masks.
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