Dr. Deborah Birx who is an American physician and a well-known face from the White House Coronavirus task force, issued a warning to the US governors on Friday saying that the country is not "rounding the turn" of the COVID-19 pandemic as claimed by President Donald Trump.
The healthcare expert said that all the states should expect a "broad surge" of Coronavirus cases as the temperature decreases, but that one-third of the nation is already a COVID-19 hotspot. The warning came after the US' one of the top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned that the country cannot wait to reach herd immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 as it would cause "so much suffering and death".
Coronavirus in the US
Birx's warning came as the county broke another single-day record for new COVID-19 cases, despite Trump's insistence that the pandemic is under control. But one major fact here is, while the number of cases is rising rapidly, the death rates are currently lower than the first spike in March.
The healthcare expert urged the governors of all the states to promote mask-wearing and social distancing in their states, as this is the only way the transmission can be controlled and many other experts have been supporting this comment based on several proven studies.
According to CBS, she told the governors this is a broad surge across every state in the country where it is cooling. "We're learning from the far north about how dramatic that spread can be, and we do not see yet improvements in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin," Birx added.
She also said that people must decrease indoor gatherings with family and friends. According to her, the aim is to form "a bridge of human behavior change over the next few weeks" that would combat the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
Availability of a "Safe" Vaccine
Apart from Birx, Fauci was also on the call on the call with governors and said that the country should know in December whether a safe and effective vaccine will be available or not.
He also told the governors that the vaccine doses, most likely from Pfizer or Moderna, were already prepared "so we can hit the ground running" if a decision is made to grant one of them an emergency use authorization (EUA). At the time when the US recorded more than 9 million cases of Coronavirus infection, Fauci told SiriusXM that developing a safe and effective vaccine is more important than reaching herd immunity.
Nation's top infectious disease expert Fauci also explained that, in terms of the US, to naturally reach herd immunity, it would cause "so much suffering and death in the country, it would be unacceptable". Fauci also added that the US has 10 percent or a little bit more of the population that has already been infected by SARS-CoV-2, and there are over 229,000 deaths. "If you want to get to a 75 percent protection, just multiply that and you see how many deaths you have to have to have herd immunity through natural infection," he said.
What is required now is a "combination of a heavy, heavy element of vaccine-induced protection, together with the protection that those who unfortunately have already been infected have. [And] That is the reason why a vaccine is so important in a much safer approach towards herd immunity," Fauci said.
What the White House Is Doing?
While both Fauci and Birx continue to encourage people to wear masks and practice social distancing, the White House Coronavirus Task Force has disappeared. As per CBS, 'nothing of substance' is happening with the task force but since Trump doesn't want a negative promotion before the election, that is why the task force has not yet disbanded.
It is pretty clear what the task force is doing now, as the report said that the people involved in the pandemic response team now only meet once a week. The task force also no longer holds press briefings to update on the country's Coronavirus outbreak.
Vice President Mike Pence, who has been in charge of the task force, has also disappeared from its weekly meetings as along with Trump he is busy doing election campaigns. Last week, reports said that he declined to quarantine and continued to travel after many members of his inner circle tested positive for Coronavirus.
Pence also reportedly did not attend meetings with the state's governors in over a month. On the other hand, Birx continues to travel around the US to let more and more people convince to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and personal hygiene.