White House Experts Warn COVID Isn't Over Yet
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, speaks out every day about eays to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. But he's not the only health authority making decisions. Reporter Marni Hughes of NewsNation sat down with Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, to try to cut through the politics and see where each stood on how to stop the virus. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Practice the Three Ws
Azar: "Our strategy is clear, which is we want to reduce the number of cases, we want to reduce the number of hospitalizations and we want to reduce the number of fatalities that result from coronavirus….We need the American people to hang in there with us and our message about what they need to do is very clear, it's wash your hands, watch your distance, wear your face covering when you can't watch your distance, out of settings and you can't do those things, and especially right now."
Someone Who Looks Healthy Can Give You the Disease
Birx: "So when you have a spectrum of disease from no symptoms to fatalities, it's very hard for the American people to understand that, because we're used to things looking the same. We're used to people getting the flu going to bed getting chills feeling terrible. We're used to that. It's hard for us to comprehend that more than 50% of the people cannot have any symptoms and others could die from this disease. And so that's why it's really important for people to know as the secretary, someone in this room right now, could be asymptomatic and positive, not know, and be here because they don't have symptoms. And so really getting that message out, because I know you… doesn't mean you don't have the virus, I think is really critically important, but I understand that's difficult to understand because it's always difficult to know that spectrum of disease from no evidence of disease to people succumbing to the exact same virus."
We Can Reopen If We Follow the Fundamentals
Adams: "When I talk to people and they asked me about politics and mixed messages. I really try to help them understand that what many people view as politics and mixed messages comes down to two things. Number one comes down to this debate between the reopening and mitigation efforts. And I will say to the American people. That's a false choice, and you need to reject that choice. You need to understand that we can safely reopen. We've seen that happen in New York City, where they drove down their productivity rates to under 1% for most of the summer, worst in the world to under 1%. You seen that in Arizona, if you want a red state, where they were the worst in the country or among the worst in the country in the summer. Within a few weeks, they drove down their positivity rates, and became a green state. It is a false choice to feel that you gave to choose between reopening and mitigation efforts. We don't want to shut down. But the way, you stay open is by following the three W's washing your hands wearing a mask and watching your distance."
There is Science Behind the Mitigation Measures
Birx: "I know it sounds so common sense, that it almost seems not science, but it is science. Each one of these items, wearing a mask, has science behind it. Physical distancing, science behind it. Washing your hands, science behind it. Avoiding indoor gatherings outside of your bubble, which is probably outside of your household at this moment in time. If you're in a county with rising cases, you need to take all of those into account, religiously, continuously. I know it's hard, I've been on the road since the end of June. But you can make it and do these changes."
Final Words from the Health Secretary
Azar: "Cases are increasing because people have gotten tired and they are not following those basics of public health. Wash your hands, watch your distance, wear your face coverings, when you can't watch your distance and avoid settings where you cannot do those things." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.