“I’m here to talk about that nasty little virus, COVID,” he says in a video released Monday by the central Washington city of Richland, near the Oregon border. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the coronavirus. “We got introduced to it about six months ago, and it’s clear this little bugger is not going away on its own.”

Mattis, a blue bandana around his neck, called on his “friends and neighbors” to cover their faces in public and to heed the advice of Dr. Amy Person, a county health official, to achieve Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan for reopening the state.

The video was also posted on the KXLY website, the TV station that serves nearby Spokane, Wash., and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Mattis is a Richland native.