Birx ‘very encouraged’ by COVID-19 trends in Mid-South

Updated: Sep. 13, 2020 at 4:57 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A top member of the White House Coronavirus task force visited the Mid-South this weekend and recognized progress the region is making in the fight against COVID-19.

“We have eyes on every city, every county, every town in every state in America and our territories, and we’re tracking that very closely,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said.

Birx says while the battle against COVID-19 is not over, she’s “very encouraged” with how far the Mid-South has come.

Birx made those comments after meeting with local and school officials at the University of Mississippi in Oxford on Saturday.

She says Mississippi in particular has come a long way since her last visit several weeks ago.

She says social distancing and mask mandates are working.

“We see the trend lines in every county look quite good. You went from almost 60-plus red counties down to 23,” Birx said. “The numbers are important to us, but the trends are important to us also.”

The seven-day average for cases in Mississippi has now fallen below 500 for the first time since June 24th.

Dr. Birx also had good things to say about Mississippi’s northern neighbor.

“Tennessee has also continued to improve,” Birx said.

Birx has visited all three Mid-South states.

She says the improvements are a result of health experts knowing and working with their communities.

“Sometimes people forget that there’s public and public health,” Birx said. “And so, you have to work with where the public is and what they’re willing to do and provide them the best advice and continue to work with the public in order to improve health, and I think that’s what we’re seeing happening across the South.”

Birx says while the fight continues, what’s she sees is very encouraging.

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