Fauci says wearing face shield, goggles could help protect against coronavirus

The expert on infectious diseases suggests wearing an eye shield in addition to a face mask.

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Fauci says wearing goggles could help protect against coronavirus.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation's top infections-disease experts, said Wednesday that Americans should consider wearing goggles or a face shield to further help protect themselves amid the coronavirus pandemic

"If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it," said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an interview on Instagram Live with ABC News. This would be in addition to wearing a face mask, which is recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and mandated by many states across the US for areas where social distancing isn't possible. 

Fauci said that while face shields aren't "universally recommended," people should wear them if they "really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces." 

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, reportedly offered a similar message on Thursday, saying that a face shield could help protect people in addition to a mask.

"The thing about the face shields -- we think that could protect the individuals and that it would decrease the ability for them to touch their eyes and spread the virus as well as those droplets coming towards them," Birx reportedly said on "Fox & Friends" on Thursday.

Across the globe, more than 17 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed and over 668,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. The US has more than 4.5 million confirmed cases and over 150,000 deaths.

The CDC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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