May 3, 2020 - Health

Birx: Protestors not practicing distancing is "devastatingly worrisome"

White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx said on "Fox News Sunday" that from a public health standpoint, it is "devastatingly worrisome" that protestors in Michigan and around the country are gathering in close quarters and not wearing masks while demonstrating against stay-at-home orders.

Why it matters: President Trump has tweeted support for the Michigan protestors, some of whom were armed and successfully entered the state's Capitol building last Thursday where lawmakers were voting on whether to extend a public health emergency.

  • Birx noted that these protestors could return home and transmit the coronavirus to family members who may be more vulnerable because of old age or underlying medical conditions.
  • "They will feel guilty for the rest of our lives," Birx said. "So we need to protect each other at the same time we're voicing our discontent."

The big picture: As U.S. deaths from the coronavirus surged past 65,000, Birx said on Fox that the White House has always projected that the death toll would be between 100,000 and 240,000 — even with full mitigation measures and social distancing guidelines in place.

  • She said that "every single metro area and every single outbreak across the country is different," and so while places like New Orleans and Detroit are showing significant declines in new cases, others are ramping up.
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