Sen. Doug Jones, after unveiling advertising in his home state of Alabama pushing for people to wear masks to slow the growing spread of coronavirus, said Wednesday that the message is coming "too late" from Washington's Republicans.
"Unfortunately, when you've seen the messages coming out of Washington, D.C., in a state where the president is popular, then those messages get muddled and they get messed up and people don't see it," the Democrat lawmaker said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "People watch and they go by examples."
But the federal government has been "a little bit late," said Jones, adding that he thinks that's why more Republican colleagues, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are advocating wearing a mask.
People heard the message about opening but "didn't get the message that you still need to social distance, you still need to wear the mask," said Jones. "I think what we're seeing right now is directly related back to what started to occur Memorial Day and I worry going into July 4 we'll see the same thing, and we'll be in more trouble later in the month or August as schools start to reopen."
State leaders have tried to get the message about the spread of coronavirus, said Jones, but he's encouraged people from the beginning not to listen to politicians unless they're repeating what health officials have said.
"But we're about a month late for that," he said. "They should have started that and should have been doing it since May or before. "
Alabama, like most states, has seen its coronavirus numbers climb sharply, said Jones.
"We have had the highest 14-day count I think we've had in the last 14 days," he said. "Twenty-eight percent of all cases since March have occurred in the last 14 days, and that is not good. You can trace that back to the Memorial Day weekend after our governor started lifting restrictions. I'm not critical of that. I thought she did it in the right way."
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