US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said he wants people who decide to protest against racial injustice to do so as safely as possible during the pandemic — and he said he understands why the protests are being prioritized.
"I understand the anger, the frustration, the fear and why people feel that they need to prioritize going out and protesting," Adams told Politico's Dan Diamond during an episode of the podcast "Pulse Check" on Thursday.
"If you are going to go out, then we want you to take precautions," Adams added. "We want you to try to stay six feet apart from each other whenever you can. We want you to wear a face covering. We want you to practice good hand hygiene, including carrying hand sanitizer."
Adams also advised to bring as little with you as possible, because if you are carrying a backpack or multiple layers of clothing, for instance, those items would need to be disinfected.
"What I've always said for anyone going out is that if you're going to go out, know your risk and know how to stay safe. It's important for people to know that there are communities where we are seeing upticks and spread and the coronavirus is still here — it is still deadly, it is still contagious," Adams said.
"If you choose to go out in that setting, you need to understand whether or not you are someone who is at higher risk — someone with chronic diseases, someone who is older, again 94% of mortality is over the age of 60," Adams added. "You need to understand if you're living with someone who is at risk, because the last thing you'd want to do is go out and protest and then bring coronavirus home to your vulnerable loved one."