Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House task force coordinator, said Americans hitting the beaches during the Memorial Day Weekend should wear masks if they are unable to social distance.
Birx warned that some people who are infected with the coronavirus but don’t show symptoms are putting others at risk by “spreading the virus unknowingly.”
“I think it’s our job as public health officials every day to be informing the public of what puts them at risk,” Birx said Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week” when asked about images of people crowding beaches this weekend. “And we’ve made it clear that there’s asymptomatic spread.”
“So we really want to be clear all the time that social distancing is absolutely critical,” she added. “And if you can’t social distance and you’re outside, you must wear a mask.”
At the White House coronavirus briefing last week, Birx urged Americans to be careful and maintain social distancing guidelines while soaking up the sun over the weekend.
“You can go out. You can be outside. You can play golf. You can play tennis with marked balls. You can go to the beaches if you stay six feet apart. But remember that that is your space, and that’s a space that you need to protect and ensure that you’re social distanced for others,” she told reporters last Friday.
ABC anchor Martha Radditz asked Birx about images of beach-goers ignoring social distancing guidelines.
“I think that’s our job to continue to communicate,” Birx said.
“And I think we have to communicate through different venues, making sure that our generation sees and our Millennials can help us get that message out there, of how to be together socially yet distant. And I think there is a way to do that. Americans are amazingly innovative. And I think we really just need to have better continuous communication on how important that is,” she continued.