U.S. reports highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day; insight from Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marty Makary argued Saturday that “universal masking” helped quell the spread of COVID-19 and that politicians should encourage the practice by wearing masks themselves.

Makary was speaking with Fox News host Neil Cavuto, who asked about the impact of President Trump not wearing a mask.

“The president is famous for not wearing a mask, and some key people around him don’t wear it either. People watching that might say, ‘Well, if he isn’t, why should I?’ What do you think of that?” Cavuto asked.

“Well, look, we’re on track to have a quarter-million Americans die from this virus,” said Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

“This virus wants to infect and penetrate about 60 percent of every locale in the world. It doesn’t care about borders. Masking is one of the few tools we have. It’s not a perfect tool, and we can have those debates, but we have a country of opinions, and I think we need to put those opinions aside and say whatever the effectiveness of the mask is, if it’s a 30 percent mitigation or a 60 percent mitigation in the velocity of transmission, it’s one of the few tools we have.

“Look at Asia, look at Europe, look at many of the northern states in the United States. They have been able to manage the infection after initial spikes and surges because of universe masking,” he said.

DICK CHENEY POSES FOR PHOTO TO ENCOURAGE MASK WEARING

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Some states and local communities require them.

Makary’s comments came amid a fiery debate over whether public officials unnecessarily restricted personal liberties by requiring that people wear masks in public. Some have criticized Trump and Vice President Pence in particular for not setting an example by wearing masks.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, House GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., encouraged the practice with a tweet on Friday. “Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK. #realmenwearmasks,” she tweeted, alongside a photo of her father.

Cavuto previously interviewed Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., who commented on whether the president should wear a mask. Kennedy said that while he generally wore a mask, “it’s up to the president. It’s up to every American.”

Makary told Cavuto that it’s “good when public figures wear masks” and indicated that doing so took away the stigma for those who experienced symptoms.

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“Look, masks do a lot of good, and I think one of the things is, it takes away the stigma for those who really need to be wearing a mask, those with symptoms or those who are exposed and are out there and shouldn’t be out there. So it’s good when public figures wear masks, in my opinion,” he said.

Trump and Pence have defended not wearing masks, noting that they and those around them get tested regularly for the virus. While at a Ford plant in May, Trump said: “Everybody’s been tested; in fact I was tested this morning so it’s not necessary.”

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.

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