WASHINGTON — The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the agency is "very concerned" that their public health message isn't "resonating."
While testifying in front of the House Appropriations subcommittee on the federal government's coronavirus response, Dr. Robert Redfield signaled the importance of mask wearing when asked by Rep. Lucille Royal-Allard (D-CA) about his concerns with large groups of people protesting and resuming life as states reopen.
"We continue to try to figure out how to penetrate the message with different groups," Redfield said. "When I go home to the Baltimore area I don't see anybody without a mask, but a lot of times I walk through Washington, D.C. I see a lot of people without a mask."
Redfield specifically referenced a large gathering at the Lake of the Ozarks from Memorial Day weekend. Photos show a large number of people gathered without following social distancing guidelines. The director called these gatherings an example of "serious problems."
Later in the hearing, Redfield said that anyone who participated in the protests following George Floyd's death should get tested for the virus in the next few days.
"I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event," he said.
Even as states begin to reopen up, Redfield warned that the American people need to continue social distancing as we approach the fall and a potential second wave of the virus.
"These social distancing strategies that we've learned are something that we are going to need to perfect, cause we are going to need them to be our major defense again in October, November, December" Redfield said.
In the United States, there are 1.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 108,000 deaths related to the virus across the nation.