Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the leaders of the government’s response to the virus, pinned the success of reopening efforts on the public’s ability to follow the direction of public health experts.
“I think it’s our job as public health officials, every day to be informing the public that what puts them at risk,” said Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “We’ve learned a lot about this virus, but we now need to translate that learning into real change behavior that stays with us so we can continue to drive down the number of cases.”
“This only works if we all follow the guidelines and protect one another,” Birx continued.
Despite the U.S. death toll approaching 100,000, Birx struck a cautiously optimistic tone on Friday during a White House press conference — her first in several weeks — sharing approval of increased public activity over Memorial Day weekend, provided precautionary measures, like social distancing, continue to be adhered to.
“You can go to the beaches if you stay 6 feet apart,” she said. “But remember that is your space, and that is the space you need to protect to ensure you are socially distancing for others.”