CDC head Robert Redfield has faced wrath online after urging protesters to be tested for Covid-19 and lamenting that his agency’s message is not getting through. He was reminded of the CDC’s own clumsy response to the crisis.
During a congressional hearing on the government’s handling of the pandemic on Thursday, Redfield told lawmakers he was “very concerned” that the CDC’s message on the virus is not “resonating” with the public.
He warned that crowded anti-police brutality demonstrations held in scores of cities over the last week could propel a spike in new cases.
“I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” Redfield said of the protests, calling on anyone who took part in marches or demonstrations to get tested for the coronavirus.
“The way to minimize that is to have each individual recognize it is an advantage to them to protect their loved ones, to [say] “hey, I was out, I need to go get tested.”
Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota – where the protests kicked off last week – echoed Redfield’s advice, calling on “anyone who demonstrated” to get tested, especially those showing symptoms.