The comment came as Donald Trump continues to cast doubt on the use of masks.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said on Wednesday that face masks are "more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine."
"Face masks, are the most important, powerful public health tool we have," Redfield told the Senate Appropriations Committee, adding, "We have clear scientific evidence they work and they are our best defense."
Redfield's comments came just hours after Donald Trump once again claimed some people "don't want to wear masks" and "think that masks are not good."
Trump has attacked Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask, and he refused to strictly enforce a mask mandate at recent campaign events.
From a Sep. 16 hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee:
DR. ROBERT REDFIELD: I'm not going to comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important, powerful public health tool we have.
And I will continue to appeal for all Americans, all individuals in our country, to embrace these face coverings.
I've said that if we did it for six, eight, ten, twelve weeks we'd bring this pandemic under control. These actually, we have clear scientific evidence they work and they are our best defense.
I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity may be 70%, and if I don't get an immune response the vaccine's not going to protect me. This face mask will.
So, I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility, particularly the 18-to-25-year-olds where we're seeing the outbreak in America continue to go like this, because we haven't got the acceptance, the personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.