Birx expecting dramatic decrease in coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations by end of May

Deborah Birx said in an interview late Saturday that she is expecting a dramatic decrease in coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations by the end of May.

“We believe that both the hospitalizations, the ICU need and, frankly, the number of people who have succumbed to this disease will be dramatically decreased by the end of May,” Birx, the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, said on Fox News Channel’s “Watters World.”

“The cases are a different issue because now, as we’re expanding more and more testing and — remember, our testing was very much prioritized to people who really needed it for decision making to people who were in the hospital, people who were sick, front-line responders and nurses,” Birx said.

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“As we expand testing more and more into the greater community with much less symptoms, we’ll see cases — and additional cases, but we believe that those will be identifying the cases that may have been and are currently circulating in the community but maybe in that more asymptomatic or very mild state that we really want to understand,” she added.

Her comments come as a number of states move to reopen some businesses starting this weekend. Governors across the country are grappling with when and how to ease restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Public health experts have warned that reopening too soon could result in a second wave of the virus.

Birx during the Fox News interview also targeted headlines on news articles when asked if the media has been fair during the pandemic.

“I think the media is very slicey and dicey about how they put sentences together in order to create headlines. ... We know for millennials in other studies that some people may only read the headlines. And if there’s not a graphic, they’re not going to look any further than that,” she said.

“And I think we have to be responsible about our headlines. I think often the reporting may be accurate in paragraph three, four and five. But I’m not sure how many people actually get to paragraph three, four and five,” she added.

“And I think the responsibility that the press has is to really ensure that the headlines reflect the science and data that is in their piece itself,” she said.

Johns Hopkins University reported almost 54,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. as of early Sunday, with more than 939,000 confirmed infections nationwide.