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Widespread testing is the key to reopening country, says Dr. Birx

iStock/Gwengoat(NEW YORK) — With nearly 765,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 40,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Deborah Birx joined ABC’s This Week to discuss how the nation can slow the spread of the virus and reopen the country.

Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said, “One of those critical — critical — legs of the stool is testing.”  In addition, expanding testing — along with monitoring active cases — are the main keys.

“We’re working with every governor and every mayor, and — frankly — every laboratory to ensure that we got quality tests out there, and also to ensure that we’re meeting with the governments’ and with the governors’ — the needs that they have in each of those labs,” she said.

While expanding production will most likely “double the number of tests that are available for Americans,” Birx is confident that enough tests have been administered to prevent a second wave of the virus.  

As for when the nation will fully reopen, Birx did not have a set timetable.  The doctor also had some words for protestors who were out this weekend demanding their politicians end the lockdowns.

“We’ve been telling the American people all along that they need to really follow state and local guidelines,” she encouraged, saying that the virus is contagious and transmittable.

She also touched upon President Donald Trump’s decision to cease funding the World Health Organization after accusing the organization of making the pandemic worse by not forcing China to be transparent about the outbreak.

“It is always the first country that gets exposed to the pandemic that has really a higher moral obligation on communicating and transparency because all the other countries around the world are making decisions on that. And that’s something we can look into after this is over,” she said.  “You have to over communicate.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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