U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07), who is also a physician, said Tuesday that researchers continue to advance toward a vaccine for COVID-19, but he also encouraged his constituents to keep up with their social distancing.
Green said this Tuesday during a Tele-Town Hall with constituents. He said recent medical literature suggests COVID-19 has a genetic component.
“There are some folks who have a different formation of the receptor on their lung lining that either allows for protection or a lack of protection for the virus inserting itself into the cells. More research is being done,” Green said.
Researchers are also trying to understand why Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who are roughly the same age and have similar health histories, ended up with COVID-19 but under different circumstances. Paul was asymptomatic, while Johnson ended up in ICU, Green said.
Green also said one company researching a vaccine will transition to Phase Two within the next few days, although he did not name the company.
During the call, one of Green’s constituents, who identified herself as a flight attendant for an international airline, said COVID-19 killed certain of her friends. She asked Green whether authorities should require people to wear gloves and masks in public.
“I dress for battle when I go out. But I cannot tell you how many people I see when I go to a grocery store or a warehouse store [who are not dressed for battle]. I observe all the precautions,” the woman said.
“Yet others don’t follow any precautions once they get in the door. No six-foot rule. No gloves. No masks. It seems like something that is so simple that we can require people to do when they choose to go not to a park but into a store.”
Green encouraged his constituents to stay physically apart from one another and to continue to sanitize their hands.
“We do know the disease is spread through large respiratory droplets, so coughing and sneezing and those kinds of things,” Green said during the call.
“People often ask ‘Do you need a mask?’ They do, even if they don’t have an N95 [mask]. Even if they don’t, they should still put something over their face as it is somewhat protective.”
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