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New COVID-19 outbreaks won’t be stopped by shutting workplaces: Dr. Birx

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New COVID-19 outbreaks won’t be stopped by shutting workplaces: Dr. Birx 1

Dr. Deborah Birx said Wednesday that new COVID-19 outbreaks are not going to be stopped by shutting workplaces — but rather by people limiting their social interactions.

“This is not going to be stopped by shutting workplaces down,” the head of the White House coronavirus task force told The Post after speaking in Long Island.

She said hotspots in the South have indicated that the virus is now primarily spreading through family parties and community engagements, and that curbing the spread comes down to people limiting socializing to tight circles.

Earlier Wednesday, Birx spoke to reporters after a roundtable talk at Stony Brook University, where she said new outbreaks of the virus are “not going to look like” the first wave that pummeled New York and neighboring states.

“This particular area across the Northeast experienced something unique in March and April that was not experienced in the South,” she said.

“I think there are still people waiting for the epidemic to look like what it looked like before. It’s not going to look like that. It’s not going to be a workplace driven epidemic.”



President Trump vowed on Tuesday not to shut down the economy, even after his own COVID-19 diagnosis, saying Americans need to learn to live with the virus, as they have with the flu.

But Birx acknowledged Wednesday that COVID-19 has been more devastating than the flu in the US.

“You only need to look at the numbers to know that this is a catastrophic type of infection for some people and in those people it is worse than the flu,”

she said.

“We do lose people from the flu and that is a tragedy because we have a flu vaccine.”

More than 210,000 virus-related deaths have been recorded in the US this year, though survival rates are improving.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that between 12,000 to 61,000 people have been killed by the flu each year since 2010.

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