The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the US could have “decreased significantly,” says Dr. Birx
The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the US would have “decreased significantly” had cities and states learned from the first wave that claimed 100,000 lives, Dr. Deborah Birx said.
Dr. Birx, who was in charge of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, claimed that later peaks could have been “ mitigated ” if lessons had been learned and followed.
In a new CNN documentary “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out,” airing on CNN Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, Dr. Birx has no doubts that the developing outbreak could and should have been handled differently.
‘I look at it like this. The first time we have an excuse, ”says Birx.
There were about a hundred thousand deaths as a result of that original wave. All others, in my mind, could have been softened or reduced significantly. ‘
Dr. Birx spearheaded the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic
Dr. Deborah Birx and the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci listen as President Trump speaks to the coronavirus task force in March 2020
A Columbia University study – using a model to examine transmission speeds between March 15 and May 3, 2020 – found that had the country closed two weeks earlier, it could have prevented 84% of deaths at the time.
With more than 550,000 American lives lost to the virus to date, the White House announced on Thursday that it will spend $ 10 billion convincing people to get the COVID vaccine as the number of infections in the United States grows and experts warn of a fourth rise. .
The money, which comes in part from President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan, will also be used to expand access to the vaccine in communities of color, rural areas and low-income populations, according to a report. fact sheet from the White House.
The money will also be used to “boost confidence in vaccines across the country.”
The focus on increasing vaccination coverage comes as the United States passed 30 million coronavirus infections this week, more variants of the virus are being detected, and several states – against the advice of health experts – are lifting mitigating measures such as wearing a mask.
The White House announced on Thursday that it will spend $ 10 billion to convince people to get the COVID vaccine and expand access to the vaccine in communities of color, rural areas, and low-income populations.
Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s conviction of Robert Redfield, former director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who says he believes COVID-19 was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
Redfield had said in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Friday that he believed the coronavirus had spread from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and had been spreading in China for months before it was discovered.
‘I believe I still think the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan came from a laboratory. Escaped. Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine. Science will figure it out eventually, ”Redfield said.
The former director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, says he believes COVID-19 has ‘escaped’ a laboratory in Wuhan and may have been circling since September 2019.
Dr. Anthony Fauci rejected the conviction of Robert Redfield, the former director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who claimed that COVID-19 was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan
However, Fauci shot down those claims when asked about them during the White House’s COVID-19 briefing on Friday – noting that if the virus had been circulating for months, the claim that it came from a lab would be less likely.
“So when you think about the possibilities of how this virus appeared in the human population, there are of course a number of theories,” Fauci said in the briefing.
“ The problem that would make someone think it’s possible to have escaped from a lab would mean that it essentially invades the external human population that is already well adapted to humans, suggesting that it was adapted in the lab. ”
However, Fauci said most public health officials believe the virus was actually circulating in China for a month or more before being clinically recognized in late December 2019.
Researchers will work in a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China in 2017
“If it did, the virus could clearly have adapted to greater transmissibility efficiency during that period up to and including the time it was recognized,” Fauci said.
So Dr. Redfield said he expressed an opinion on a possibility. But then again, there are other alternatives – others that most people stick to. ‘
Later in the briefing, Fauci was again asked about Redfield’s comments, saying, “He’s entitled to his opinion now.”
“I think what he was probably expressing is that there are certainly possibilities, as I just said, how a virus adapts to spread efficiently among humans,” Fauci said.
He said it is ‘more likely’ that the virus ‘flew under the radar’ and spread in the community in China for several weeks, if not a month or more, making it quite well adapted when it was first clinically recognized could be. ‘
‘COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out,’ Airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on CNN