Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, said Monday she wishes the United States had gone into severe lockdown mode like Italy did, though she knows Americans have no taste for it.
"I wish that when we went into lockdown we looked like Italy," Birx said Monday in an interview shown Monday on KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas. CNN replayed the remarks.
"But when Italy locked down, I mean, people were not allowed out of their houses. And they couldn't come out but once every two weeks to buy groceries for one hour. And they had to have a certificate that said they were allowed."
"Americans," she admitted," don't react well to that kind of prohibition.
Italy was the early COVID-19 hotspot outside China, where the virus first emerged, and the nation took drastic measures, as did China, in an effort to control its spread. The United States has seen a more hodgepodge approach with different states using different methods, and the issue becoming politicized.
While cases initially spiked in Italy and throughout the rest of Europe, they have continued at higher levels throughout the United States.
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, responding to Birx's remarks, said, "Well, you know, if we had done that at that time, even for a few weeks, we'd be in a very, very different position right now. So, she's right. The models have sort of demonstrated that."
Still, Gupta, noted, much has been learned about how to control the virus' spread.
"We know, for example, that if 95% of the country just imply wore masks at this point, it would start to bend this curve downward and save tens of thousands of lives," he said.
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