That’s the recommendation of the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said during a House Appropriations hearing on Thursday that anyone who participated should “highly consider” getting tested.
“I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” Dr. Robert Redfield said during Thursday’s hearing on the coronavirus response. He said the risk of infection is higher in major cities where there’s been significant transmission. To prevent transmission, Redfield suggested people who attend protests tell their loved ones that they were out in public and get tested within 3 to 7 days.
The CDC director also pointed to the use of tear gas by police as something that may help the virus spread.
“Definitely, coughing can spread respiratory viruses, including Covid-19,” Redfield said.
Pocan asked Redfield if he’d advised the president or worked with law enforcement to discontinue the use of tear gas during the pandemic.
“I think you raised an important point we have advocated strongly — the ability to have face coverings and masks available to protesters, so that they can at least have those coverings,” he said.
Redfield said he’d “pass this comment to the next Task Force meeting.”
Officials fear protests could cause surge in coronavirus cases
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he’s deeply concerned about a “super-spreader type of incident” and that the spike in Covid-19 cases is inevitable.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he supports protesters’ rights but they have a duty to protect themselves and others.
“You have a right to demonstrate; you have a right to protest,” Cuomo said last weekend. “You don’t have a right to infect other people, you don’t have a right to act in a way that’s going to jeopardize public health.”
CNN’s Hollie Silverman and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.