White House COVID-19 Task Force
WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY
“There’s no reality on the ground — where we can see that 60 – 70% of Americans are going to get infected within the next 8 – 12 weeks.”
Dr. Deborah Birx cautioning against predictive models vs. the data emerging from South Korea, Italy, and China. She said U.S. hotspots are large urban areas and their suburbs (ex: 55% of all cases are in NY metro area), but that 19 states with early cases *still* have “persistent low” numbers.
“Even before you know something works, at risk, you have to start producing it.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci on how the government hopes to expedite vaccine production from trials in various stages of development *if* those vaccines show early signs of efficacy. Dr. Fauci emphasized that while the gov’t may help companies ramp-up production of potential vaccines, safety remains a priority. He still believes a vaccine is more than a year away.
“American businesses are stepping up to partner with us to meet this moment.”
Vice Pres. Pence noted the unemployment figures announced Thursday (3M+ Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week), but he also highlighted reports of nearly 500,000 new jobs recently announced by companies including Amazon, CVS, Pizza Hut & Walmart.
“This is a country that was built on getting it done and our people want to get back to work.”
Pres. Trump said he’ll deliver more information on what the back-to-work plan looks like early next week. He suggested that perhaps restrictions might first be relaxed in areas less affected by COVID-19, and noted that a return to work includes social distancing, hand washing and beyond.
The Task Force fielded questions about reports of county specific plans vs. broad federal guidelines – something to watch for in the coming days, especially as “15 days to Slow The Spread” comes to end Monday.
by Jenna Lee,