Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has encouraged the country to continue abiding by health safety guidelines amid the still-ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Despite President Trump claiming the country was “rounding the corner,” Birx warned the pandemic could continue getting worse before it gets better.
“This is not about lockdowns — It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April,” Birx said, encouraging the use of masks and maintaining social distancing guidelines.
“It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented. There is an absolute necessity of the Administration to use this moment to ask the American people to wear masks, physical distance and avoid gatherings in both public and private spaces,” she said.
Dr. Birx also dispelled a repeated claim from Trump that the increase in cases was a result of an increase in testing. She specifically said the rising case count was “not due to increased testing but broad and ever-increasing community spread.”
The big picture: Cases have been surging to record highs across the country in the past few weeks.
- More than 231,500 people have died from COVID-19 and nearly 9.3 million have tested positive for the virus, Johns Hopkins data shows.
What they’re saying: The White House did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment. But White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah defended the Trump administration’s response, saying “[w]e are working around-the-clock to safely treat the virus and ultimately defeat it,” according to WashPost.
She said the White House has “significantly increased” supplies of personal protective equipment, purchased 150 million COVID-19 tests, distributing them to vulnerable populations, “sent special teams to states and nursing homes with the most cases,” develop vaccines and “safely rush therapeutics” to the sick, per WashPost.