Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said on Sunday the United States is in a "new phase" of the coronavirus pandemic, and people in every corner of the country must take precautions, from wearing masks to practicing social distancing.
"What we are seeing today is different from March and April," she told CNN's Dana Bash on State of the Union. "It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas." For those who live in regions that are less populated, "you are not immune or protected from this virus," Birx continued. "If you're in multi-generational households, and there's an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you're positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities."
While Birx would not project how many Americans she believes will die of the virus this year, she said it is up to southern and western states where there are several hot spots to ramp up their mitigation efforts. "It's not super spreading individuals," she said. "It's super spreading events and we need to stop those. We definitely need to take more precautions."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Every state has to have its own "dramatically tailored" approach to fighting the coronavirus, Birx added, with a "set of recommendations based on what we are seeing at the community level, what we are seeing relevant to hospitals." As of Sunday, there are more than 4.6 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and at least 154,449 Americans have died of the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus database.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.