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Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen: 'Don't Buy Masks' For Coronavirus Protection

BALTIMORE (WJZ/CBS) -- Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said masks won't protect people from coronavirus.

Wen spoke on an episode of CBS News correspondent Major Garrett's podcast The Takeout.

That mask will not be effective. It may actually be more harmful to you in some ways too," she said on the podcast.

"It becomes a reservoir for germs," Wen said of the surgical masks. Instead, she said the key is before you touch your face, you should wash your hands.

Maryland reported its first three coronavirus cases Thursday.

"We're a country of 330 million people, so the risk to the average, everyday person remains low. But that still means that we should get prepared," Wen said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said it does not recommend travelers who aren't sick to wear masks.

Read more on CBS News.

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