Dr Deborah Birx says social isolation will continue over the summer months

Dr Deborah Birx says social isolation will continue over the summer months

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr Deborah Birx said that social distancing will persist over the summer months, adding that many governors agree that the process of re-opening will be very slow.

Birx responded today morning to Vice President Mike Pence’s forecast last week that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic will be mostly over by Memorial Day after Meet the Press host Chuck Todd incredulously asked: “By Memorial Day 2020? Is that realistic?” The immunology and public health specialist said the new U.S. model monitoring “give us much optimism” that COVID-19 infections and deaths would be reduced Yet she added that informal distancing activities will be practised during the summer to help deter possible outbreaks of COVID-19.

“I think means in the models and in monitoring our actual data since we used evidence-based models around the world before, and now we’re very much monitoring every single outbreak in the United States separately,” Birx said. “And if you look at those clusters over time when you look at areas like Louisiana, if you look at Houston, if you look at Detroit and how they have hit their height and come down, and what those cases look like as they come down — it gives us much hope.”

“Social distancing should be with us through the summer to help ensure that we support each other as we go through these stages,” Birx said, referring to Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of the summer.

Birx advised that Americans with pre-existing illnesses, disabled people and those subject to “risk factors” should continue to live in their homes for several months to come. “They will make sure that everyone they communicate with is indeed following the Social Distance Guidelines very carefully.”

Todd repeatedly questioned whether the relaxing of the social distancing rules by a number of states this week could lead to the nation “losing all the ground that we have gained in the last six weeks.” Birx said she talked to state leaders and governors who agree that the re-opening of businesses and public spaces must be a phased process.

“They’re not thinking about flipping the light switch on, but gradually turning the dimmer up,” Birx said.

Pence, speaking on Friday at Geraldo Rivera’s Cleveland radio show, gave his new forecast as he expects coronavirus infections and deaths would have largely decreased from the rates seen earlier this month. “I think frankly if you look at the patterns today, I think that on the Memorial Day weekend, we will essentially have this coronavirus outbreak behind us.”

Birx noted that re-opening and relaxing the protective social distance guidelines would differ by the venue, noting that “New York still has 45 per cent or so of cases in the United States.”


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    Riya belongs from New York and she covers world news on My Office Hub. She is a multitasking, career-oriented girl, loves chatting and play online games. She loves traveling and visited more than 33 countries. Reach her on riya@myoffice-hub.com

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