- Leaders in Trump’s coronavirus task force have warned that the US is approaching a very deadly wave in the coronavirus pandemic.
- In internal reports, Dr. Deborah Birx warned that “much more aggressive action” needs to be taken to get the pandemic under control as the country heads into it’s “most deadly” phase, The Washington Post reported.
- Birx’s warning contradicts public claims made by Trump, specifically those that falsely suggest that the pandemic is turning a corner.
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Leaders in the White House Coronavirus Task Force have been blunt that the pandemic is far from over and will likely get worse in the upcoming weeks despite public statements from Trump that suggest otherwise, according to a report from The Washington Post.
Dr. Deborah Birx in an internal report warned top officials in the administration that without “much more aggressive action” the pandemic could enter the “most deadly phase” yet, The Post reported.
“This is not about lockdowns — It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive balanced approach that is not being implemented,” Birx wrote.
Birx warned that the country could see as many as 100,000 cases a day this week, and also reportedly went directly against claims Trump has made in public such as reminding top health officials that testing has either stayed the same or declined and in most of the areas seeing spikes in cases. Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the pandemic is nearing an end and that cases are only rising because of testing.
Last week, cases in the US nearly hit 100,000 in a day.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top US infectious disease expert and another member of the task force, also said Americans are “in for a whole lot of hurt” as the cases continue to rise.
“It’s not a good situation,” he told The Post in an interview Friday. “All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
Fauci’s assessment of the gravity of the pandemic has repeatedly clashed with Trump’s rhetoric that it will go away.
On Sunday night, Trump hinted to supporters at a rally in Florida that he plans to fire Fauci after the presidential election.
The US already has over 9.2 million recorded infections with more than 231,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
“Cases are rapidly rising in nearly 30 percent of all USA counties, the highest number of county hotspots we have seen with this pandemic. Half of the United States is in the red or orange zone for cases despite flat or declining testing,” Birx said in her report.
Despite the urgency in her message, The Post reported that Birx’s warnings have largely been overlooked.
An administration official who works with Birx told the Post: “She feels like she’s being ignored.”
Birx warned that there’s a desperate need to scale up testing and tracing, as well as get hospitals staffed. She also encouraged measures that would ask people to change their behavior to limit the spread.
In a comment to Business insider, the White House pointed to its response to The Post: “We are working around-the-clock to safely treat the virus and ultimately defeat it.”