Top U.S. COVID adviser urges caution in the Coulee Region


WASHINGTON (WXOW) – White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx shared a message directly to Western Wisconsin calling for a final push to follow COVID safety measures.

“We can see your hospitalizations. We can see your rising fatalities,” said Dr. Birx.

Speaking one-on-one with News 19 Thursday, Dr. Birx echoed the same calls of many public health officials, urging people to stay home, wash hands and wear masks in public. Dr. Birx gave an example why everyone shares the responsibility.

“For certain individuals, this is remarkably more deadly than the flu,” said Dr. Birx. “You don’t know that person you pass on the street, whether they have an underlying comorbidity and because of your exposure of your virus to them, that may result in a hospitalization or even a fatality.”

Also offering a word of hope, Dr. Birx pointed to the evidence that the sort of restrictions being called for in Wisconsin and Minnesota work. She cited the efficacy of shutdowns and measures across the country this spring and the steps taken in southern states this summer.

“When we did this in the spring because of the incredible spring surge, we had people do this for 45 days, and it had a dramatic impact. The same way across the south was about 45 to 60 days, but now we know that a vaccine is coming, a 90-plus percent efficacious vaccine, really asking people to put in that final surge to protect themselves and their families.”

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