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WATCH: Pence reiterates importance of wearing a mask

U. S. Vice President Mike Pence and the U.S Surgeon General both reiterate during a Coronavirus Task Force briefing “wearing a mask is a good idea” for all Americans.

Watch the briefing in the player above.

As a surge of infections hammers the South and West of the United States, officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they can help save lives.

During the briefing Tuesday Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States told reporters,” It is not an inconvenience. It is not a suppression of your freedom. It actually is a vehicle to achieve our goals. It adds to your convenience and your freedom because it allows us to open up more places. And it allows those places to stay open. When you do not wear your face covering.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.