Anthony Fauci and Robert Redfield tell the Senate: "Masks are extremely important"

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The warning from top US health experts came during a hearing about the latest efforts by the US government to contain the pandemic as several states struggle to contain the virus amid growing cases and state reopens. The United States reported more than 40,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, its biggest daily jump to date.

Redfield singled out younger Americans in particular to convey a message that they are not exempt from the need to wear a mask.

"It is essential that we all take personal responsibility for delaying the transmission of Covid-19 and adopting the universal use of face covers," he said. "Specifically, I am targeting the youngest members of our society, Millennials and Generation Zs. I ask those who are listening to spread the word."

Fauci spoke of the general importance of wearing masks.

"We are all in this together," he said, adding: "We recommend masks for everyone on the outside, anyone who comes into contact in a crowded area. You should avoid crowds when possible and when you are outside and have no ability to keep your distance, you must wear a mask at all times. "

Fauci indicated that he would support an effort to increase the production of high-quality masks in the United States and distribute them free of charge to the American public in response to a question by Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders.

"Masks are extremely important," Fauci said, adding: "There is no question that wearing masks protects and protects you. So people protect each other. Anything that encourages the use of masks, whether it be giving away masks or any other mechanism, I am completely in favor of ".

LIVE UPDATES: Fauci, Redfield Testify Of Covid-19 Reopening As Cases Increase
More than half of all states are seeing an increase in cases, and Florida, Texas and Arizona are being particularly affected. Texas has begun reducing its reopening, and Florida's beaches have closed for the upcoming holiday weekend.
Fauci and Redfield testified before lawmakers last week, when Fauci said "we are going to do more tests, not less," in response to President Donald Trump's recent claim that he asked his administration to slow down the speed of testing during the pandemic.
Senators have been weighing another stimulus package in recent weeks as unemployment figures remain worrying and economic difficulties from the pandemic persist. Republicans remain divided on the size and scale of the upcoming stimulus bill, and while it has been debated for months, the next phase of economic relief is still weeks away. But now there is general agreement that something must be done, something that was not always the case.
In Capitol Hill's latest round of aid, Congress increased unemployment checks by $ 600 per week and added 13 weeks of pay, beyond what the states offer. The additional money will expire on July 31 without congressional action, but the 13-week extension will remain in effect until the end of the year. A second round of stimulus payments is on the negotiating table in Washington, but some of the 160 million Americans who raised money the first time may be left out, according to a more specific approach that the administration is pushing.

Republicans have focused on the last week of July to reach an agreement on the next round of stimulus legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been steadfast on that schedule for weeks and the administration is on board.

This story has been updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

CNN's Amanda Watts, Alison Main, Phil Mattingly and Katie Lobosco contributed to this report.

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