White House warns Americans aren’t doing enough to flatten coronavirus curve in some states


Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, warned on Thursday that narrowing social distance could cause more coronavirus epidemics in the United States. In a briefing on Tuesday, pictured here, she talked about the curve showing the number of cases in the United States.

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Social distancing effectively prevents coronavirus but some Americans do not take the president’s directives seriously, the White House warned Thursday. This could lead to more epidemics and complicate the fight against the virus, said an expert, which forces people to stay away from others to avoid getting sick.

Dr. Deborah Birx, who advises on administration during the COVID-19 pandemic, noted that the curve describing infections over time in the United States was steep, indicating that the coronavirus was not under control. Indeed, not everyone follows the recommendations to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, stay at least six feet apart and wash their hands. People who fall ill became infected after the United States released these guidelines, said Birx.

“We are not as strong as every community, every county, every state, every American following the guidelines of a T,” said Birx, as she noted countries like France, Spain, Germany and even Italy, one of the hot spots of the coronavirus, has progressed in the flattening of their curves. “I can tell by the curve [in the US] … That not all Americans follow him. It’s really a call to action. “

President Donald Trump was quick to say that Birx meant the curves were steep in some states, not the United States as a whole. In New York, there is a major coronavirus epidemic and a steep curve, with more sick people expected than beds, ventilators and other necessary supplies. California which took early action to lock whole state, the curve is flatter.

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However, Birx said that even flat-curve states could see the situation change quickly if social distancing was not strictly followed during the next month.

“What changes the curve is a new Detroit, a new Chicago, a new New Orleans, a new Colorado,” she said, referring to places with large epidemics. “It changed the curves. “

The White House also announced on Thursday new guidelines for wearing cloth masks outside the home. Currently, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that members of the general public do not need to wear face masks unless they are sick or treat someone who is sick. But many epidemics and infections are caused by people who are infected but have no symptoms.

The new coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year. It causes a disease known as COVID-19 and has been linked to a family of viruses called coronaviruses, which include SARS and MERS. In March, the World Health Organization called COVID-19 a pandemic and the virus has changed the way we live. The epidemic has prompted cities and entire countries around the world to ban locks, close stores, cancellation of events and order citizens to stay at home to help contain the coronavirus. Thursday, over 1 million people worldwide have been infected and more than 51,000 died.

Flatten the curve

When it comes to fighting the coronavirus epidemic, an often-used term is ” flatten the curve.“The idea is that communities and countries can delay the peak of the epidemic and relieve some of the stress on the health care system. A steep curve – a huge and rapid increase – indicates how a pandemic caused by an infectious disease like COVID -19 would spread through a community without an intervention strategy in place. Without mitigating the spread, cases would increase rapidly, peaking when the community is almost fully infected, before falling back.


What the coronavirus curves might look like, as adapted from the CDC’s pre-pandemic guidelines.


The second curve is much flatter and denotes a pandemic scenario where been intervention. There will always be cases, but the health system will have the beds, supplies and workers necessary to help those infected.

Because there is no vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus, social isolation and hand washing are the most effective ways to avoid getting sick.

Wear a mask

Wearing masks is another measure people can take to protect themselves, but this should be done in addition to other guidelines such as social distancing, said Birx. Vice President Mike Pence said new guidelines for wearing the mask may be released in the coming days.

It is likely that the new recommendation will say that all people should wear cloth masks outside their home, whether or not they are sick. Some infected people have no symptoms and can spread the virus to others without ever knowing they have it. However, people wearing masks should exercise the same caution as if they were not wearing masks – stay at least six feet from other people, avoid group meetings, only go out for exercise and exercise. essential shopping, and wash your hands when you get home.

Birx said the country has delayed recommending everyone to wear masks because of fears that people will experience “a false sense of security that this mask protects you exclusively from infection.” Wearing a mask is not a guarantee that you will be protected, especially scarves or homemade face covers, which do not block particles as do N95 masks. The more resistant masks are intended for use by health workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic.

“We want to make sure everyone understands [the mask-wearing recommendation] is not a substitute for presidential directives that have already been issued, “said Birx.

“We are all trying to protect each other, and we have to adapt to this new reality in which we find ourselves now,” she added. “Trying really, really hard for the next 28 days … will make a huge difference. “

CNET’s Jackson Ryan contributed to this report.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended for medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


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