Coronavirus live news: England relaxes lockdown as Merkel urges German states to tighten curbs | World news

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Dr Deborah Birx, who coordinated the White House coronavirus task force under President Donald Trump, believes the Covid death toll in the United States would have been substantially lower if the government had responded more effectively.

Reuters: In an interview with CNN, parts of which were released before broadcast later on Sunday, Birx said there was an “excuse” for the initial surge of deaths last year as the government grappled with the start of the pandemic.

“There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge,” Birx said. “All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”
More than 542,000 people have died from Covid in the United States, according to a Reuters tally, and almost 30 million have been infected.




White House coronavirus task force members, including Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams listen to President Donald Trump during the daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) briefing at the White House in Washington, US, on 22 April 2020.

White House coronavirus task force members, including Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health, White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams listen to President Donald Trump during the daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) briefing at the White House in Washington, US, on 22 April 2020. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Trump downplayed the outbreak in its early stages, resisted mitigation efforts and criticized harsh lockdown measures imposed to stop the spread of the virus. He repeatedly eschewed guidance on mask-wearing that health experts say prevents the spread of the disease.

Birx, who has since left the government, said in the interview that she received a “very uncomfortable” call from Trump after describing how widespread the virus was in an interview with CNN in August, during which she told people living in rural areas that they were not immune.

Trump, who tested positive for and then recovered from the virus in October, was running for re-election at the time.

“Everybody in the White House was upset with that interview and the clarity that I brought about the epidemic,” Birx said.

“I got called by the president,” she said. “It was very uncomfortable, very direct, and very difficult to hear.”

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus live news: England relaxes lockdown as Merkel urges German states to tighten curbs | World news

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