Coronavirus: Deborah Birx says social distancing will continue through summer

Deborah Birx said Sunday that social distancing will continue during the summer.

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Deborah Birx said Sunday that social distancing will continue during the summer.

Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Sunday that social distancing will continue through the summer, The Washington Post reported.

“Social distancing will be with us through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another,” Birx said during an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

Birx also said the nation needed a "breakthrough” in testing for antigens -- the molecules or molecular structures that trigger an immune response -- to get on the path to normalcy.

Birx was optimistic the United States would recover more quickly than earlier global data suggested, the Post reported.

“If you look at these outbreaks over time and you look at places like Louisiana,” Birx said on “Meet the Press.” "If you look at Houston, if you look at Detroit, if you look at how they’ve reached their peak and come down and what those cases look like as they come down, it gives us great hope when you project out Boston and Chicago and certainly the New York metro.”

However, Birx said governors who are contemplating reopening their states told her "they talk about this not as turning on a light switch, but slowly turning up the dimmer. Very slowly.”

Birx’s comments are less optimistic than those of Vice President Mike Pence, who said in a Friday radio interview that the epidemic would be mostly “behind us” by Memorial Day weekend.

Interviewed by Geraldo Rivera in an interview provided by WTAM-AM, Pence said he believed the pandemic was past its peak.

“Do you think I’ll be on my boat and fishing in early June, Mr. Vice President?” Rivera asked.

“I think, honestly, if you look at the trends today, I think by Memorial Day weekend we will largely have this coronavirus epidemic behind us,” Pence said.

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