In an interview with CBN News' Faith Nation on Wednesday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House response coordinator with the US Coronavirus Task Force, said the administration is considering all the information and is attempting to determine how long COVID-19's effect on daily American's will last.
"We are looking very carefully at the information that is coming from countries around the world as well as the individual states and counties that are reporting," she said.
Birx explained that the slow introduction to coronavirus testing was due to the timing of flu season and the similar symptoms that both illnesses carry.
"All the new tests that the CDC rushed to development went out on our flu surveillance platform because we were still in the middle of flu season and this had very similar symptoms," she said. "We wanted to know who had flu and who potentially had the COVID virus. The president called in the commercial private sector and adapted to a high quality test that is now running multiple platforms around the country.
Birx emphasized the critical role that faith communities can play during the coronavirus crisis.
"They are a critical part and I've talked about how the solutions to this epidemic will come through the communities engagement," she said. "The faith community has a really critical role to play. Both giving out accurate and important information and ensuring that everyone in the household feels engaged in their community even though their at home themselves."
The US response coordinator stressed that the activity of Americans over these next week can affect the progress of the virus and stop its spread.
"Whatever Americans do over the next 5 - 6 days is critical of how to stop the spread and calls on every generation to do their part. Everybody has a role to play and everybody is critical in the response," she noted. "If Americans heed the guidance's over the next week, we do believe that we can make tremendous progress."
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Birx explained that President Trump has been mindful of the details that continue to come in about the COVID-19.
"He has been so attentive to the details and the data and his ability to analyze and integrate data has been a real benefit during these discussions about medical issues," she added.
Birx said that her background and past experiences allow her to maintain a sense of humility during difficult times like this.
"I've had to confront a lot of pandemics and infectious diseases around the globe. When you are confronted with a level of devastating disease and death, you never lose that sense of unbelievable humility," she said. "I believe that the communities today have the ability to stop the spread of this virus and with those unbelievable acts of kindness comes a whole new way of greeting one another.
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"We use to do a lot of physical interactions and greetings but now we can use words to express ourselves and words can go at least six feet," I think we'll come to both bringing America together and learning how to interact with each other in a different way that maintains social distancing and that we care...and are interested in their lives," Birx concluded.
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