Birx: ‘It’s Difficult to Tell’ if Country Will Close Again

Sunday on  ABC’s “This Week,” White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said it is difficult to tell if the country will close again in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brix said, “I want to be very clear to the American people – we are preparing for that potential fall issue.”

Guest host Martha Raddatz asked, “But you don’t see the country closing down again?”

Birx answered, “It’s difficult to tell. I really am data-driven, so I’m collecting data right now about whether governors and whether states and whether communities are able to open safely. What do I mean by that? We have to do much better with proactive testing. Not just count the number of tests we’ve done. That’s great, but really ensure those tests are being applied in a way that we find the asymptomatic cases. It’s much easier to find symptomatic cases because people are sick. And when people are sick, they’re often not out and about, particularly if a severe case of COVID with a fever. What I’m worried about is, what are we putting in place to find asymptomatic cases? That’s why we’ve asked for proactive, 100% testing of all residents and workers and then proactive ongoing testing of workers in nursing homes, proactive testing where people are living together in large groups, whether they’re living together to serve a meatpacking plant or agricultural workers. I really want to call them events rather than targeting individuals because individuals are unknowingly spreading the virus. Let’s talk about events. All of this proactive testing needs to be in place and needs to continue to be in place because that will determine safely remaining open in the fall.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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