Home / US / Dr. Deborah Birx: “We are in a new phase” of the coronavirus pandemic with more common cases

Dr. Deborah Birx: “We are in a new phase” of the coronavirus pandemic with more common cases

“What we’re seeing today is different from March and April. It’s extraordinarily widespread. It’s in rural areas as equal urban areas,” Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of ‘Union”.

Birx stressed that Americans must follow health recommendations, including wearing a mask and practicing social removal.

“For everyone who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus,” said Birx. “If you are in multi-generational families and there is an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you really need to consider wearing a mask at home, assuming you are positive, if you have people in your families with comorbidities “.

“This epidemic is different at the moment and is more widespread and is both rural and urban,”

; he added.

A new overall forecast, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, projects over 173,000 American deaths by August 22, and former U.S. food and pharmaceutical administrator Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned CNBC last month. that the death toll from coronavirus could double 300,000 deaths by the end of the year if the country does not change its trajectory.

On Sunday, Birx would not give a projection of how many deaths the United States would see by the end of the year, but said a death toll largely depends on the southern and western states to maintain and accelerate their mitigation efforts. . These states have become hot spots for the virus.

“It’s not about super-spread individuals, it’s super-spread events and we have to stop them. We absolutely have to take more precautions,” Birx told Bash.

Birx said that each state needs a “drastically adapted” approach to Covid-19, with a “set of recommendations based on what we are seeing at the community level, what we see relevant for hospitals”.

The Trump administration has left many of the response decisions to state leaders, allowing governors to decide when to apply or restore coronavirus restrictions and when to close and reopen their state’s economy. A key question was whether state and local leaders should allow school education in person as early as the beginning of the school year.

Bash on Sunday asked Birx whether schools in states with a 5% positivity rate should remain closed or only have distance learning.

“If you have a high load of cases and an active diffusion of the community, just as we are asking people not to go to bars, not to organize home parties, not to create large diffusion events, we are asking people to learn at a distance in this moment so we can keep this epidemic under control, “Birx replied, although he referred to the CDC guidelines on school reopening.

Birx’s comments come when the United States has reported more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country.

As of Sunday, the United States has reported over 4.6 million cases of Covid-19 and at least 154,449 Americans have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

This story was updated with additional comments from Dr. Deborah Birx on “State of the Union”.

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