Testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the federal government’s CCP virus response, Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that the agency is concerned that its public health message isn’t “resonating” with the public and that the number of CCP virus cases is only increasing.
Redfield said he sees “a lot of people” not wearing masks in Washington, where he works, compared to his hometown in Baltimore, where he says more people are complying with federal safety guidelines and wearing masks.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) then showed Redfield a picture of people gathered at Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend—none of whom are wearing masks.
“Look at these folks. This is unbelievable. And you have got this happen in the state of Missouri,” she said, adding that White House guidelines say that the states should do contact tracing for COVID-19 but that Missouri doesn’t have the capacity to do that.
DeLauro asked Redfield if the CDC is tracking people there and Redfield replied that the CDC only provides assistance to states if they request it.
“Because of Congress support we are building capacity across this country to do contact tracing and get their capacity fully operationalized by the fall this year,” he told DeLauro.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 4, 2020
The longtime congresswoman showed the Redfield another picture of huge crowds gathered to watch SpaceX’s first attempt to launch astronauts into space.
“Would you put yourself in these types of situations,” DeLauro asked Redfield, further grilling him about the risks involved in opening the country while the number of cases of infection continues to rise significantly every day.
Last month, the CDC released guidelines for reopening schools, mass transit, and businesses deemed non-essential that have been shut down nationwide because of the pandemic.
“We will continue to message as well we can,” said Redfield. “We’re going to encourage people that have the ability to require to wear masks when they are in their environment to continue to do that.”
He also said that the protests taking place all over the country triggered by the death of George Floyd could lead to more outbreaks.
“I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” he said.
“And the way to minimize that is to have each individual to recognize it is an advantage of them to protect their loved ones, to [say] ‘hey, I was out, I need to go get tested.’”