Birx Tells Local Officials In 9 Cities To ‘Get On Top’ Of Virus Surge Risk
Task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx cites coronavirus numbers ticking up in 9 cities and California's Central Valley as areas for concern. Meanwhile, comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro also make headlines.
Center For Public Integrity:
White House Warns 10 Local Areas About Coronavirus Numbers In Private Call
The White House Coronavirus Task Force sees troubling coronavirus numbers in 10 local areas across the country, even as its data shows improvement in Sunbelt states, according to a private call between task force leader Dr. Deborah Birx and state and local officials Wednesday. "We are seeing encouraging signs across the South,” Birx said on a recording of the call obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. “We are concerned that both Baltimore and Atlanta remain at a very high level — [also] Kansas City, Portland, Omaha [and] of course what we talked about in the Central Valley [of California].” Birx then pointed to four additional cities that are doing relatively well — Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. — and yet are seeing small increases in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests, according to White House data. Those areas need to “get on top of it,” she said. (Essley Whyte, 8/6)
The World May Never Eradicate Coronavirus, But It Can Get It Under Control, Fauci Says
Covid-19 may never be eradicated completely, but states' efforts to enforce measures against the virus and the race to a vaccine could keep it from drastically disrupting life in the United States again. With 4.7 million cases and 158,249 deaths across the US alone, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that the "highly transmissible" virus isn't likely to be eradicated from the planet. The conclusion drawn by the nation's leading infectious disease expert contrasts with that of President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday said the virus will "go away." (Holcombe, 8/6)
Fauci Says Family Has Faced Threats, Harassment Amid Pandemic
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he and his family are getting death threats because people don’t like what he says about COVID-19. “Getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security is just, I mean, it’s amazing,” Fauci said during an interview with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday. (Hellmann, 8/5)
CNN's Burnett Presses Navarro On Hydroxychloroquine In Combative Interview: 'You're An Economist, Not A Scientist'
CNN’s Erin Burnett pressed White House trade adviser Peter Navarro over his support for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the coronavirus despite public health experts, including several within the White House, stating that the anti-malaria drug is not effective at treating COVID-19. In the combative Wednesday interview, Navarro continued to push the drug as a coronavirus treatment, dismissing contradictory comments made by the nation’s top public health expert and White House coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci. (Klar, 8/5)
In other administration news —
China's Ambassador To US Slams Trump For COVID-19 Blame
Warning that tensions with China have reached "unprecedented" levels, China’s ambassador to the United States on Tuesday chastised President Donald Trump’s use of the phrase "China virus" and fiercely disputed accusations that the Chinese government withheld potentially life-saving information about COVID-19 in the earliest days of the pandemic. "We have to base ourselves on real facts, and … the timeline is very clear," Ambassador Cui Tiankai said. "Everybody knew [early on] this is very dangerous." (Levine, 8/5)
Seeking Refuge In US, Children Fleeing Danger Are Expelled
When officers led them out of a detention facility near the U.S.-Mexico border and onto a bus last month, the 12-year-old from Honduras and his 9-year-old sister believed they were going to a shelter so they could be reunited with their mother in the Midwest. They had been told to sign a paper they thought would tell the shelter they didn’t have the coronavirus, the boy said. The form was in English, a language he and his sister don’t speak. The only thing he recognized was the letters “COVID.” (Merchant, 8/6)