Surgeon General Jerome Adams
© Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams holds a face mask during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 22.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams echoed President Trump, saying he does not think a national mask mandate is necessary, but at the same time urged all Americans to continue to wear face coverings.
"This administration really fights to protect our freedoms, but we want people to know freedom comes with responsibility and part of that responsibility means wearing a face covering when you go out," Adams said in an interview on Fox News.
Asked about a national mask mandate, Adams said "in many cases we are letting the politics and the policy get in the way of the actual practice." Adams said that the science shows that wearing masks will allow for America to reopen and stay open sooner.

The surgeon general said he believes a mandate would work better at a local and state level than a federal level because if there was a federal mandate, there would need to be a way for the federal government to enforce it.

"If you are going to have a federal mandate you have to have a federal enforcement mechanism and right now as scientist and an educator, I would rather help people understand why they should cooperate with wearing a mask and how they benefit from it, versus just simply saying we are going to force you to do it, particularly by sending in federal troops or using federal mechanisms," Adams said.

What Trump has said: In an interview with Fox that aired Sunday, President Trump said he does not feel a national mask mandate is necessary because he wants people to "have a certain freedom"

Trump said over the weekend that he does not believe the disease will go away if everyone wears masks.