“The power to stop this epidemic is in the hands of the American people,” said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on an appearance on FOX & Friends Monday, during which he begged viewers to wear masks but said he opposed a federal mandate from the Trump administration.
Said Adams: “If you’re going to have a federal mandate, you have to have a federal enforcement mechanism. And right now … I would rather help people understand why they should cooperate with wearing a mask and how they benefit from it versus just saying we’re going to force you to do it particularly by sending in federal troops or enforcing federal mechanisms.”
Asked about the administration’s flip-flopping on mask recommendations, Adams replied: “Once we realized that the science was different for this virus, we changed our recommendations. As the president said, this whole administration is supportive of masks. The part that people aren’t focusing on, which they should, is the president yesterday said I support masks. Moving forward, I want people to understand we’re all on the same page. We believe these are one of the most effective ways to open our country.”
“It relies on the individual people of America to do the right thing.,” Adams continued. “That’s why I’m pleading with your viewers, I’m begging you, please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering. We are not trying to take away your ability to go out when we say keep restaurant capacity under 50 percent. We are saying if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open. We can get back to school, to worship, to jobs. We can do this.”