The COVID-19 Delta variant is prompting a nationwide surge of the virus. Despite vaccinations and case numbers that had greatly improved, the Delta variant is highly contagious and we’re all experiencing a little bit of deja vu. According to a former FDA commissioner, having the right face mask could protect you from it.
In an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the FDA, said that quality face masks are key in protecting us from the Delta variant.
“Delta is so contagious that when we talk about masks, I don’t think we should just talk about masks,” he said. “I think we should be talking about high-quality masks. Quality of mask is going to make a difference with a variant that spreads more aggressively like Delta does, where people are more contagious and exude more virus, and trying to get N95 masks into the hands of vulnerable individuals in places where this is really epidemic, I think is going to be important.”
Gottlieb was so emphatic on the benefits of high quality masks that he suggests that even people who are fully vaccinated should consider wearing them. “It could be something that we start talking about getting better quality masks into the hands of people, because I think it’s going to be hard to mandate these things right now,” he said.
The Delta variant is extremely contagious and results in serious infections. Gottlieb believes that in the near future, all people in the U.S. will fall within these three categories: they’ll be vaccinated, they’ll be protected due to a previous infection or they’ll catch the Delta variant. “And for most people who get this Delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital.”
COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at protecting people from the different strains of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Cases of breakthrough COVID-19 are very rare, but even if they occur, the disease is likely to be mild. So, for everyone who’s yet to be vaccinated, what are you waiting for? Get to it.