Birx Warns of "Most Deadly Phase"
Just as President Trump was saying America has "rounded the turn" on the coronavirus, a top advisor appointed by his team was arguing the opposite, begging her administration to take "much more aggressive action" to combat COVID-19, according to the Washington Post. "We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic … leading to increasing mortality," said a Nov. 2 report from Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, obtained by the Post. "This is not about lockdowns — It hasn't been about lockdowns since March or April. It's about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented." Read on to hear what's needed to save lives, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Birx Warned Hospitalizations are Rising—But You Can Stop Them
In her report, Birx said the coronavirus was worse than ever. "Cases are rapidly rising in nearly 30 percent of all USA counties, the highest number of county hotspots we have seen with this pandemic," it said. "Half of the United States is in the red or orange zone for cases despite flat or declining testing."
As she has in past reports, she called for "much more aggressive action from messaging, to testing, to surging personnel around the country before the crisis point."
What is "essential at this time point," the report said, is "consistent messaging about uniform use of masks, physical distancing and hand washing with profound limitation on indoor gatherings especially with family and friends."
It adds: "This is about empowerment [sic] Americans with the knowledge and data for decision-making to prevent community spread and save lives."
The Post reports that "White House communications director Alyssa Farah disputed the report's suggestion that the administration's response has been inadequate to the crisis. She said the administration continues to work to 'safely rush therapeutics' to the sick and develop vaccines. 'We are working around-the-clock to safely treat the virus and ultimately defeat it,' Farah said."
Dr. Fauci Has Sounded the Same Warning
Birx's colleague on the task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has sounded a similar warning. "We're in for a whole lot of hurt. It's not a good situation," Fauci said of the fall and winter surge. We're nearing 100,000 cases a day. "All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly."
He admitted the task force's influence has been minimized of late, as President Trump has preferred guidance from Dr. Scott Atlas, an American neuroradiologist who has championed the idea of "herd immunity." "Achieving herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — without an effective vaccine would result in widespread fatalities," reports Axios. The White House has repeatedly said "herd immunity has never been a strategy" they've employed, although Trump said the coronavirus would disappear if people developed "a herd mentality."
By design or not, the widespread outbreaks are happening. Health officials in North Dakota indicated only 200 regular beds and 20 in intensive care units were vacant, because of a rise in hospitalizations. This has Fauci majorly concerned. "It's much more about some of the states like Utah, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, where … they never had a pretty good reserve of intensive care beds and things like that. I hope they'll be okay, but it's still a risk that, as you get more surging, they're going to run out of capacity," Fauci said. As for yourself, no matter where you live, wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.