The coronavirus curve may be starting to flatten, which offers some "early signs of hope," but it's important that Americans not let their guard down yet, as a second wave of the virus could occur, Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House's coronavirus task force, warned Wednesday.
“What's really important is that people don't turn these early signs of hope into releasing from the 30 days to stop the spread — it's really critical,” Birx said on NBC's "Today." “If people start going out again and socially interacting, we could see a very acute second wave very early.”
She said Americans have been working hard to follow the national guidelines, but different locations in the nation have different levels of the disease. In places like Washington state and California, where social distancing came into play very early, "their curves look like they are persistently flat, and that's very encouraging for us."
In New York and New Jersey, the numbers seem to be stabilizing, she added, which "gives us great encouragement."
The death toll has been rising in both states, but Birx said the numbers reflect people who were infected two to three weeks ago before strict guidelines were put into place. Other metro areas are still struggling as well, including Chicago and Detroit.
Birx also would not anticipate whether the additional 30 days of social distancing put into place through April 30 will be sufficient or if it will need to be extended.
Birx also discussed reports of higher disease numbers among the African-American community, commenting that many pre-existing conditions, particularly diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and asthma are a key issue.
"We don't think African-Americans are more susceptible to getting infected but we do think with those numbers of pre-existing conditions," said Birx. "We need to look at those items to ensure the health of Americans."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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