WH Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx Highlights Potential Good News for Italy and US in Virus Fight

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Italy has been having a difficult time having the most counts the highest mortality rate from the Wuhan coronavirus, at last check, 10%, with 7503 deaths out of 74,386 diagnosed cases. Now whenever we’re talking about “mortality rate” we’re saying deaths over diagnosed cases. It’s probably always lower by a lot because we can’t measure the undiagnosed cases. But that rate is still over other countries at this point.

Now, as we have reported, there are a variety of reasons for why it’s hit Italy hard, among them a concentrated elderly population, already overwhelmed national health care system, a direct connection with Wuhan with many people traveling back and forth to the area of Italy hardest hit.

Although that’s very troubling, Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, is saying there have been some positive signs over the last three days, an indication that they may have hit their peak on Saturday and are “flattening their curve.”

Birx spoke with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday and highlighted the development, according to the Washington Examiner.


“We’re looking at the Italy data. I think we’re — we’re encouraged over the last few days to watch the number of deaths starting to decline,” Birx said. “That will be our first indicator that what we put in place and what they put in place in Italy three weeks ago is starting to have — or two weeks ago is starting to have an impact now. Because deaths are a measure of what you did two and three weeks ago, not what you did now.”

For the past few days the new deaths and the news cases have begun to slow, they’ve been below the peak on Saturday.

You can see the stats for Italy here in greater detail.

Local health official Giulio Gallera said they might be “beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel” although he cautioned that it was still “not the time to sing victory.” “Today is perhaps the first positive day we have had in this hard, very tough month,” Gallera explained.


So this may spell good news for us as well, especially given that we have some advantages that Italy didn’t have including not being overwhelmed with national health care, as well as applying social distancing and lockdowns earlier in the progression of the disease.

Birx praised the efforts of Americans to try to comply with all the new dictates to shelter at home to keep people safe.

“I just want to really applaud all the American people who have taken this seriously and understand that although you may not be at the greatest risk, you’re protecting others who may be, and that’s why we have to be in this in solidarity,” Birx said.

Let’s cross our fingers, but that’s certainly sounds good to look forward to.


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