Dr. Birx Shares a Personal, Poignant Story with Young People Who are Not Protecting the Elderly

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Posted: Mar 26, 2020 9:15 AM
Dr. Birx Shares a Personal, Poignant Story with Young People Who are Not Protecting the Elderly

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Dr. Deborah Birx's grandmother has a very painful regret. When she was just 11 years old during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, she brought home the disease and ended up infecting her mother, who had just given birth. Dr. Birx, a key member of President Trump's coronavirus task force, said her grandmother has lived with the guilt for 88 years.

"Her mother was succumbed to the great 1918 flu," Birx said. "She never forgot that she was the child that was in school that innocently brought that flu home."

Her great grandmother's name was Leah. Dr. Birx shares the same middle name.

Dr. Birx hopes her message gets across to young people who currently think they're invincible and are still going out and meeting up with friends as if everything is normal, and could be unknowingly exposing their parents or grandparents to the virus. The coronavirus is extremely contagious and can remain on some surfaces for over two weeks, according to one CDC studyIn many cases, individuals who have contracted the virus are asymptomatic, so vigilance is key.

"This is why we keep saying to every American, you have a role to protect each and every person that you interact with," she said. "We have a role to protect one another. When you are protecting yourself, you are protecting others."

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That was far from the only word of caution Dr. Birx had for the American people on Wednesday. Below you'll hear her very important point about statistics.