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Ignoring advice on masks ‘recipe for disaster’ in US

Masked stroll:
Two young women
in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, where
virus cases have
surged PICTURE: REX

A SURGE in Covid-19 cases in the US has been fuelled by people ignoring social distancing and face mask guidelines, the country’s leading infectious diseases expert has said.

Confirmed cases have surged in southern and western states that did not wait for a steady decline in infections for two weeks before reopening their economies.

‘That’s a recipe for disaster,’ Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN. ‘Now we’re seeing the consequences of community spread, which is even more difficult to contain than in a physical location like a prison, nursing home or meatpacking place.’

California has followed Texas and Florida and ordered some bars to close — in the first major rollback of efforts to reopen the most populous state. Fifteen states had record increases in cases last week.

A top Republican congressman yesterday sought to deflect accusations that president Donald Trump has botched the prevention effort. ‘Every American has a responsibility. They should wear a mask,’ House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said.

Vice-president Mike Pence advised the use of face masks and wore one himself in Texas in an administration U-turn. Mr Trump has refused to cover his face in public.

There have been more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5million confirmed cases in the US — the world’s highest tally.