One of the top advisers to the Trump administration of the coronavirus told “The Daily Briefing” on Friday that the number of pandemic deaths in the United States should begin to decline soon, although he warned Americans that anyway they will need to take precautions such as wearing masks.
“What you’re seeing right now is that the positivity rate is declining, the numbers of cases are starting to decline, the hospital will be declining,” Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral Brett Giroir told Dana Perino.
“But the unfortunate, sad fact, is that mortality, deaths, remain for a few more weeks,” he added. “So, I don’t make any promises here, but if everything follows, we should start to see the death toll drop in a few weeks.
“And then it’s up to us,” Giroir continued. “If we do the things we know so well now, work ̵1; we have top-of-the-line evidence that wearing a simple mask, if everyone does it, can reverse it all – then we’re not going to see [any new increases]. But if we don’t do that, by the time we get a vaccine, 90 percent of the population is still at risk of getting this virus and that could be catastrophic if we don’t do those kinds of actions that we’re asking for. “
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COVID-19 deaths do not move at a perfectly closed pace with the infection curve, for the simple reason that it can take weeks to get sick and die from the virus. The virus claimed more than 150,000 lives in the United States and killed more than 500,000 others worldwide.
Giroir’s comments came on the same day that he and the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr Anthony Fauci testified before a House subcommittee on the pandemic.
Like Giroir, Fauci stressed the need to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, and recommends wearing the universal mask, closing the bars and avoiding crowds.
“I think if we do this for a few consecutive weeks … I think we’ll see changes because we know it works,” Fauci told PBS NewsHour earlier this month.
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Anchor Judy Woodruff pushed back, arguing that Americans heard that message but it’s “not working.”
Fauci responded by stating that the efforts were “a bit spotty.”
“It wasn’t uniform,” he added, “where everyone in that region says,‘ Wait a minute, we’re having a serious problem. We have to start over. “”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.