Dr. Birx Shares a Few Encouragements at Thursday Briefing

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Posted: Mar 19, 2020 2:15 PM
Dr. Birx Shares a Few Encouragements at Thursday Briefing

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Dr. Deborah Birx noted on Thursday that the number of positive COVID-19 cases, commonly known as the Wuhan coronavirus, are dramatically increasing, but that's largely because the number of tests is becoming more widely available. She and the rest of the White House coronavirus task force urged Americans to only get tested if they are experiencing symptoms. And they are prioritizing those tests in very specific regions. Fifty percent of the positive coronavirus cases are coming from three states and 10 counties, Birx explained.

Birx said the "key" thing to remember is to follow the president's guidelines and stay home as much as possible. If even a small chunk of the population decides to continue living life as normal, it could do serious damage and exponentially increase the rate of infections. She said she was encouraged to see so many people across the board heeding the president's guidelines and practicing social distancing. 

Another piece of positive news: a drug that was previously used to treat malaria, chloroquine, will be used in a clinical trial to test its effectiveness against COVID-19. It has yet to be approved by the FDA to treat COVID, but has the potential to be a life-saver. 

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said that this is "record time for the development of a vaccine and impressive public-private partnership."

"We are looking at everything that's coming across our desks as possible treatments for coronavirus," Hahn added, praising America's innovators.

"Most people are getting better," Trump also reminded viewers.

Dr. Birx recently joined fellow task force members U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Dr. Anthony Fauci for a new PSA about the importance of social distancing, which you can watch below.