- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday for the first time called for states and localities to require their residents to use face masks indoors and on all types of public transportation.

The public health agency says face masks should be used in homes when a member of the household is infected or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

“Consistent and correct use of face masks is a public health strategy critical to reducing respiratory transmission of SARS-CoV-2, particularly in light of estimates that approximately one half of new infections are transmitted by persons who have no symptoms,” the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control (to protect others) and, to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer.”

The CDC’s new call for universal mask-wearing comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci told NBC on Friday that Americans might need to wear masks beyond the 100-day commitment that presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden will outline at his inauguration.

Mr. Biden plans to mandate masks on federal property and interstate transportation and use the bully pulpit to demand face coverings among everyday people across the country. The 100-day period should stretch into the spring, when members of the general public will start to receive forthcoming coronavirus vaccines.

Dr. Fauci is slated to continue his role as the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases — a post he has held for decades under presidents of both parties — but also will serve as chief medical adviser to Mr. Biden.

Tom Howell Jr. contributed to this report.

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