During a town hall on the Fox News Channel on Thursday, Dr. Deborah Birx stated that due to holes in the data reported by China, “we didn’t know how contagious” coronavirus was.
Birx said, “At the time, when this virus stuck…I was working very intently on HIV at the time, and was overseas in sub-Saharan Africa, watching the data coming from China. And I think when we looked at the profile, first, there was a question about human-to-human transmission. Obviously, in a virus, that’s really key. … So, there was that first question. And I think when you’re in the midst of an epidemic, it’s hard for you to really be testing at the level that you need to to really look for those asymptomatic cases and really look for those people with mild disease. And so, now we’re finding out that most of the reporting was around very severe cases, severe cases that presented in a very difficult situation, and that they weren’t really measuring asymptomatic or mild disease. In that case, that may be a significant portion of the epidemic. And so, we didn’t know how it was spreading. We didn’t know the surface contact. We didn’t know how — I think the bottom line is, we didn’t know how contagious it was. And I think when you make misassumptions around contagion early on, then you don’t prepare in the way that you should prepare for the level of contagion that this COVID-19 exhibits.”
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