U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is urging Americans to wear masks in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In an interview with "Fox & Friends" on Monday, the nation's top doctor said he and the entire Trump administration are "on the same page" in that wearing masks in public is the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus.
Adams admitted the administration was "wrong" some months ago when it told Americans they didn't need to wear masks. He said that after learning more about the virus and the degree of asymptomatic spreading, it's changed its recommendations.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump said he agrees people generally should wear masks even though "masks cause problems, too". Adams told "Fox & Friends" viewers: "I'm begging you. Please understand that we are not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering."
There has been pushback on the idea of a national mask mandate, and President Trump has ruled it out. Adams said that he felt state and local government mask mandates would work better than a federal one, but that ultimate responsibility to wear a mask falls on individuals.
He has said in the past he believes that if more people use masks, we could see a decrease in new coronavirus cases in as little as two weeks.
In the last two weeks, new daily cases in the U.S. have hit all-time highs as many states moved to relax restrictions. As of Monday, the U.S. has seen more than 3.8 million confirmed COVID-19 infections and 140,000 deaths.