White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said on Friday that cases of the Wuhan coronavirus are beginning to plateau in hotspot regions across the south. According to Dr. Birx, the states beginning to see some plateauing after suffering major outbreaks over the past four weeks are Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida.
During an interview on "TODAY," Savannah Guthrie asked the response coordinator about the president's forecast of the coronavirus getting worse before getting better.
"How much worse?" asked Guthrie.
"Well, it really depends on the next set of cities ... we are already starting to see some plateauing in these critical four states that really suffered under the last four weeks -- so Texas, California, Arizona, and Flordia -- those major metros and throughout their counties," answered Birx.
Dr. Birx reiterated that the virus is very serious and compared the situation to having "essentially three New Yorks." But unlike New York, the Republican governors in the south aren't sending the coronavirus patients into nursing homes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the twelfth straight week of declining coronavirus deaths in the U.S. for the week ending Jul. 11.
On the subject of reopening schools, Dr. Birx said there was still a lot of unknowns about the coronavirus when it comes to children. And despite the fact that children under the age of 18 generally don't become as sick when infected with the virus, it's not known to what degree young children spread the virus to others.
The CDC released guidelines on Thursday for reopening schools that prioritize children returning to the classroom.
White House task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx talks to @SavannahGuthrie about the rising coronavirus cases in states including Florida, Texas and California.— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 24, 2020
"What we have right now are essentially three New Yorks with these three major states," she says. pic.twitter.com/mczzED47NX