U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) said people don’t necessarily need masks over their heads right now to protect themselves from COVID-19.
But Green still asked people late last week to cover their mouths when they are out in public.
“If you put your hand over your mouth at Publix while you are walking around, as long as your hand is sanitized, anything you put over your mouth will decrease the amount of the viral load that you inhale,” Green said during a Tele-Town hall phone call with constituents Friday.
During the call, one of Green’s constituents asked him if more people need facemasks.
“There has been a lot of talk lately about everybody needing a facemask. Everybody doesn’t need a facemask, at least not right now. If you are at home and abiding by the Safer at Home stuff then you don’t need a facemask. Those we really need to preserve for our medical personnel right now,” Green said.
“We have PPE in Tennessee, and we have enough right now. It is being redistributed by the command structure at the state level. If you are aware of a facility that is short then you should let our office know.”
During the call Green – who is also a medical doctor – said COVID-19 could potentially travel through water systems.
“There is a plumbing issue in China that revealed that the virus was able to be transmitted through a plumbing system,” Green said.
“I assume if it can do that then it could be intentionally placed into the water system. It’s very unlikely, and I think we probably need a little more data to look at it.”
Green also said reports of suicides across Tennessee, potentially tied to COVID-19, alarmed him. He urged Tennesseans to check on one another while still maintaining the appropriate social distance.
“The virus is with us. It is not going away. The notion that when we call this thing off, whenever we do, the virus will be gone is a bad notion,” Green said.
“We obviously can’t wait on a vaccine. That will take a year. Despite the fact it looks like it has been sped up in historic record-setting time. Herd immunity will decrease because of this quarantine that we are doing.”
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