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CDC worried Americans aren't following public health guidelines

Dr. Robert Redfield warned that the American people need to continue social distancing as we approach the fall and a potential second wave of the virus.

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." 

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Vice Chair Roybal-Allard Questions CDC Dir. Redfield About Mask-Wearing Guidance

At today's Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations hearing, I questioned CDC Director Robert Redfield about the #CDC's guidance on #MaskWearing. To reduce #COVID19's spread, we need people to wear #masks in public spaces – and it would be helpful if the president showed some leadership and stopped flaunting his opposition to wearing one. House Appropriations Committee

Posted by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard on Thursday, June 4, 2020

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." 

RELATED: Lake of the Ozarks partygoer tests positive for COVID-19 | Here’s a timeline of where that person went

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.

Credit: AP
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies at a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing about the COVID-19 response on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 4, 2020.