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White House testing czar promotes mask wearing, social distancing: 'Testing alone will never solve this issue'

White House testing czar promotes mask wearing, social distancing: 'Testing alone will never solve this issue'
© Washington Examiner/Pool

White House testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir promoted mask wearing and social distancing on Sunday, saying that “testing alone will never solve this issue.”

Giroir told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the U.S. is “doing everything we can” to improve COVID-19 testing as the number of coronavirus hospitalizations and cases surge across the nation amid the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Unless we can control the viral spread, by doing the things like wearing a mask, avoiding indoor crowded spaces, you cannot test your way out of this,” he said.

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“It’s gotta be the smart policies and universal mask wearing, … avoidance of those spaces with testing is how we get out of the pandemic,” Giroir said. “Testing alone will never solve this issue. You got to have both.”

President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE’s testing czar expressed confidence in vaccine development efforts, saying the U.S. should be able to administer the vaccine to 20 million Americans by the end of this year. 

“This is a life-saving vaccine,” he said. “This puts the end to the pandemic. This is the way we get out of the pandemic.”

“The light is at the end of the tunnel, but the American people have to do the right things until we get that vaccine widely distributed: Wear a mask, avoid indoor crowded spaces, all things you know,” Giroir added. 

Giroir’s comments come as the U.S. surpassed 13 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, only six days after it reached 12 million cases.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the country are at an all-time high of more than 91,000, with more than 18,000 Americans in the intensive care unit, according to the Covid Tracking Project

Infection and hospitalization surges come as millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving, which health experts warn could contribute to more cases, hospitalizations and deaths.