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April 8, 2020

Members of President Trump's coronavirus task force are expressing some optimism based on a few "signs of hope" while stressing it's crucial for social distancing to continue.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, in a Wednesday interview on Today said "we're very hopeful" because Americans have been taking social distancing guidelines seriously. She also cited some "very encouraging" signs from states like Washington and California, as "their curves look like they are persistently flat."

This week, the director of the CDC and the U.S. surgeon general both suggested the U.S. coronavirus death toll could end up below the White House's previous dire projection of 100,000 to 240,000 thanks to successful social distancing.

At the same time, Americans must not take any of this as a signal to stop social distancing, Birx stressed.

"What's really important is that people don't turn these early signs of hope into releasing from the 30 days to stop the spread," Birx said, referring to the federal government's social distancing guidelines that have been extended to the end of April.

Birx also warned, "If people start going out again, and socially interacting, we could see a very acute second wave very early. So we are really encouraging every American to continue to follow the guidelines for these 30 days." Brendan Morrow

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