WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told lawmakers Tuesday that safely reopening businesses ans schools depends on how American’s act.

Fauci testified in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, saying the recent COVID-19 case spikes in several states and cities that have reopened indicate that slowing the spread of the virus will take a serious effort on the part of every American.

“We’ve got to get the message out that we are all in this together,” he said.

Fauci said beating the virus will take continued social distancing and mask-wearing.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vermont, inquired whether all Americans have access to face masks, to which Fauci said he would be in favor of an increase in production.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, took aim at President Donald Trump, arguing that he is not setting the right example.

“They’re watching him behave in a manner and encourage behavior that is directly contrary to what we’re being told,” Murphy said.

Some Republicans on the committee said wearing a mask should not be a political statement.

“Unfortunately, this simple life-saving practice has become part of the political debate…if you’re for Trump you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump you do,” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said.

With cases rising as states reopen Fauci told Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, that he’s worried about where the country is headed. 

“We are going to continue to be in a lot of trouble,” he said.

Experts said getting back to normalcy may hinge on the nation responding together.