Dr. Deborah Birx has warned that new Coronavirus outbreaks in some southern states are serious and compared them to devastating toll the virus took on New York.
The medical expert, who’s a member of the White House Coronavirus task force, spoke to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Friday and appeared to contradict the President’s optimism.
Guthrie asked Birx if things were really going to get worse before they get better, as Donald Trump has claimed.
“Well it really depends on the next set of cities,” she said.
“I mean we already are starting to see some plateauing in these critically four states that have suffered under the last four weeks, so Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida, those major metros and throughout their counties.”
“And I just want to make it clear to the American public, what we have right now are essentially three New Yorks with these three major states,” Birx said.
“And so we’re really having to respond as an American people, and that’s why you hear us calling for masks and increased social distancing to really stop the spread of this epidemic.”
Guthrie asked her if these outbreaks were serious and echoed some of the President’s comments, which have been more positive than many experts.
“Well it’s very serious and it’s very real,” Birx said.
“[T]his first wave that we see now across Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona began with under 30-year-olds, many who were asymptomatic and didn’t know they were spreading it.”
“And so they have to assume that they are infected and positive, and we all need to protect those who need our protection right now,” she said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media