While the U.S. is still seeing a sobering number of deaths lagging from a past exponential increase of confirmed coronavirus cases, the data is showing some leveling of the infection in the U.S.
That shows the quality of the response in the U.S versus other countries, according to Dr. Deborah Birx of the coronavirus task force, adding there should be even more of a decline in the death count projections.
"Now we're into the time period of full mitigation that should be reflected in the coming weeks of decreasing mortality," Dr. Birx told reporters Wednesday. "That's what we are supposed to see."
The U.S. outperforming many countries around the world is a testement to the American healthcare system and those on the front lines, she added.
"We carefully looked at Italy and Spain, and we are doing much better in many cases than several other countries, and we're trying to understand that," Dr. Birx said. "We believe the healthcare system of the United States is quite extraordinary."
Birx was asked about the declining pessimism of the death-count models, suggesting far less Americans are going to die from COVID-19, which she credits to the effective mitigation policies the task force has put in place across the US.
"They have consistently decreased the mortality from over 90,000, down to 81,000 now down to 61,000 and that is modeled on what America is doing," she added. "That's what's happening.
"I think what has been so remarkable to those of us who have been in the science field for so long, is how important behavioral change is and how amazing Americans are and adapting to and following through on those behavioral changes. And that's what is changing the cases and that is what will change the mortality going forward."
The U.S. response might even become the standard for future pandemics, Birx said.
"I think this will change how people look at respiratory diseases because it will change what is possible, when the globe, and particularly the American people, do this level of mitigation," she concluded.
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