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Birx 'Hopeful' for COVID-19 Vaccine but Urges People to Focus on Mitigation Efforts

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Dr. Deborah Birx is urging Americans to “do the right thing” and focus on mitigating the spread of the virus while waiting for an effective COVID-19 vaccine to be developed.

On Sunday, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Birx traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota, where she met with state officials to discuss the coronavirus outbreak as the fall approaches.

When asked for an update on the development timeline for a vaccine, Birx stressed the importance of focusing on mitigation efforts for the time being.

“Do the right thing today,” Birx said. “Because if we do the right thing today, we go into the fall with much fewer cases.”

Although Dr. Anthony Fauci claimed the development of an effective vaccine may serve as the catalyst for returning to normalcy in 2021, Birx insisted that Americans have the opportunity to “gain freedom” now by abiding by mitigation guidelines.

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“Right now, we gain freedom through wearing our masks and socially distancing,” Birx said.

Birx also said, “I’m hopeful for a vaccine. But I’m also very convinced right now that we can stop community spread by wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding crowds.”

See Birx’s remarks below:

She highlighted times when some people may disregard mask-wearing although they should be worn whenever there is any interaction with a substantial number of people — even if those people are family.

“People think of crowds and think, ‘Oh, that’s when I go to a concert.’ No, crowds are a backyard barbecue with 25 people without masks.” Birx said as she stressed the importance of people learning how to socialize while still maintaining some form of distance.

At one point, Birx also explained why it is important for asymptomatic people to be just as vigilant in mitigating the spread of the virus.

“We don’t know the long-term consequences,” Birx said. “Although we say its mild or moderate disease right now or they may not get that sick, we are starting to see young people with long-term consequences or at least medium-term consequences.”

“We can’t say convincingly to every young person that has mild disease that there won’t be medium or long-term consequences,” she added.

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She also highlighted the course of action that can be taken now to stop the spread of the virus.

Birx concluded, “In the end, the community protects the community by stopping the spread of this virus, community by community.”

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