Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, warned on Friday that people need to understand that new COVID-19 cases and deaths that are going to hit the United States next week do not reflect the social distancing measures that have been put in place around the country.
“Just to pick up on some of the questions that you had earlier — so the issues that we discussed with the modeling yesterday was to ensure that the models were adjusted for the great work that every citizen is making in doing the mitigation efforts and to see if that was reflected in the requests specifically for ventilators,” Birx said. “And so we wanted to make sure that with a limited number of ventilators and the issues that we saw in Detroit and Dearborn, in Cook County, and now in New Orleans, that we were balancing and projecting correctly based on both what the models had predicted and then whether they were adjusted for the incredible mitigation work ongoing in New York City.”
“We understand that this week and next week will not reflect that mitigation, whether it’s New Orleans or whether it’s New York and the New York metro area,” Birx continued. “We know that the hospital admissions that we are seeing this week and next week will be infections that occurred before the mitigation started. But we wanted to make sure, going forward, that the needs reflected that.”
“That was what was adjusted in the Ferguson model for the U.K., and I know you’re following that very carefully,” Birx continued. “They believe strongly that the mitigation methods that were put into place that informed our mitigation methods — we all were working off of that same model, and I want to make it clear that those models, those flu models have been incredibly helpful to really predict what would layering of these different mitigation methods — on social distancing, to staying home if you’re sick, the staying in that household, that had quarantined everybody in the household if anyone is positive.”
Dr Deborah Birx tackles ventilator needs, plus why they recommended self-isolating with families (vs. cutting off some generations like they did in China). pic.twitter.com/KafeYJyfZJ
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 28, 2020
Addressing how China and South Korea handled the coronavirus outbreak in their counties, Birx said, “Although both China and South Korea removed people who are positive from their households and segregated them away from their families, we did not think that our Americans would adopt and adapt to that situation. And so that’s why in our guidelines we asked people, if there is a family member, to try to self-isolate in the household and so that that person is still there in the household.”
“So I just wanted to be clear that, yes, we all heard about what China and South Korea did,” Birx added. “As much as we could, we adapted them to the American situation, as the U.K. has done also. And we just wanted to make it — be really ensured that all of the requests for the stockpile reflected the great work that the American citizens were doing in each of these areas to ensure health.”