WASHINGTON—In an urgent message broadcast on every U.S. television network, Environmental Protection Agency officials announced Wednesday that Americans should avoid breathing at all costs. “Effective immediately, we are strongly advising all members of the U.S. populace to cease normal respiratory activity,” said acting EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe during an impromptu press conference held in the agency’s underground bunker. “If you absolutely must inhale, do so at once and really make it count. As a general rule, contact with the earth’s atmosphere is strongly discouraged.” At press time, Perciasepe reminded Americans to prevent injuries by lying down before entering a state of unconsciousness.