Dr. Birx: COVID-19 In New Phase And Is ‘Extraordinarily Widespread’

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, White House Coronavirus Taskforce Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. has hit a new phase because it is “extraordinarily widespread.”

“Are we in a new phase of the pandemic? And, if so, what are you going to do to change course?” Bash asked.

“I think those are two very critical questions, because we are in a new phase.” Birx responded. “And that’s why I really wanted to make it clear to the American people.”

“It’s why we started putting out governor reports directly to the health officials and the governors in every single state, because we could see that each thing had to be tailored.” Birx continued. “So, each state has a tailored set of recommendations based on what we are seeing at the community level, what we are seeing relevant to the hospitals. And each of these responses have to be dramatically tailored. We are beginning to see an impact from the mitigation procedures that many of the state and local officials have put into place.”

“But I want to be very clear. What we’re seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas.” Birx continued. “And to everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus. And that’s why we keep saying, no matter where you live in America, you need to wear a mask and socially distance, do the personal hygiene pieces.”

“But, more importantly, if you’re in multigenerational households, and there’s an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you’re positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities.” Birx concluded. “This epidemic right now is different, and it’s wide – it’s more widespread. And it’s both rural and urban.”