Dr Deborah Birx: “We are in a new phase” of the coronavirus pandemic with more widespread cases

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“What we see today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s in rural areas as equal urban areas, ”Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, told CNN’s Dana Bash on“ State of the Union ”.

Birx stressed that Americans should follow health recommendations, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

“For anyone who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus,” Birx said. “If you are in multigenerational households and there is an epidemic in your rural area or town, you really need to consider wearing a mask at home, assuming you are positive, if you have people in your area. your household with co-morbidities. ”

“This epidemic is currently different and more widespread and it is both rural and urban,” she added.

A new ensemble forecast, released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, projects more than 173,000 U.S. deaths by August 22, and former U.S. food and drug administrator Dr. Scott Gottlieb , warned on CNBC last month that the number of coronavirus deaths could double to 300,000 deaths by the end of the year, if the country does not change its course.

Birx would not give a projection of the number of deaths the United States would see by the end of the year on Sunday, but she said the death toll largely depends on the southern and western states. to maintain and accelerate their mitigation efforts. These states have become hot spots for the virus.

“These are not very common individuals, these are very common events and we need to stop them. We absolutely have to take more precautions, ”Birx told Bash.

Birx’s comments come as the United States has reported more cases and deaths of coronavirus than any other country.

As of Sunday, the United States had reported more than 4.6 million cases of Covid-19 and at least 154,449 Americans had died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

This is breaking news and will be updated.

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