Millions of Americans may have enjoyed a brief wave of optimism after the vaccine successes in the past few weeks, but Dr. Deborah Birx said to grab the reins. We can all celebrate later.
The White House coronavirus response coordinator referenced the timeline from vaccine approval to the administering of shots, cautioning that the weeks ahead could be particularly grim because of the current state of the virus spread.
“The vaccine is critical, but it’s not going to save us from this current surge,” Birx said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
“Only we can save us from this current surge. And we know precisely what to do. So, if you have loved ones that you want to protect, you have to follow these guidelines now.”
She stressed the importance of science, and not “parroting back” rumors about masks not working, herd immunity and large gatherings being safe.
“I think our job is to constantly say, ‘Those are myths, they are wrong and you can see the evidence base,’” she said.
Health experts nationwide see the COVID-19 spike becoming worse as a result of gatherings held during the week of Thanksgiving.
With daily U.S. deaths rising to 2,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, record highs are being recorded in cities and states.
Nationally, a record was set Thursday of more than 2,800 deaths. With those figures comes the inevitable crisis in hospital capacity. The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic said more than 100,000 in the U.S. were hospitalized with coronavirus as of Saturday.
“If you do not want to lose your grandparents, your aunts, let’s be clear: If you’re over 70, 20% of those over 70 who contract COVID-19 are hospitalized, and still, 10% of them are lost,” Birx added.