Birx links coronavirus spikes to states that ‘stepped on the gas’ when reopening

getty: White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx

Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said cases are spiking in some parts of the country because states “stepped on the gas” while reopening. 

Birx told the “Wharton Business Daily podcast on Tuesday that while states in the Northeast are experiencing a “slight uptick,” their situations are much more controlled now than states in the South, which opened much more abruptly. 

“The South, which didn’t experience a significant outbreak through the March-April time frame, I think came at this opening in a different way than the Northeast or the Midwest that had experience with the outbreak,” Birx said.

Birx said several states experiencing spikes ignored guidelines put in place by federal and local public health officials as they reopened.

“A lot of individuals and a lot of businesses, instead of driving 25 in a 25 mile an hour zone, stepped on the gas and started going 65, and it’s really evident now in the spread of cases across most age groups,” she added. 

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and fellow member of the coronavirus task force, told lawmakers that states “skipping over” coronavirus reopening guidelines are now experiencing surges. 

Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida are among the states seeing rising coronavirus cases.

Though the mortality rate in some states is comparably lower than it was in New York or New Jersey earlier this year, hospitals have warned that many are at capacity treating COVID-19 patients.

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