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Dr. Birx: 'Not every American is following' the coronavirus guidelines

Posted April 2, 2020 8:11 p.m. EDT

— Dr. Deborah Birx said she can tell by looking at the US curve of coronavirus cases that not every American is following the guidelines set out by the administration for people to stay home and be vigilant about washing their hands.

"I know you've seen the slope on the US versus the slope in Italy, and we have to change that slope," Birx said. "What it means in the US is not everyone is doing it."

"So we're only as strong as every community, every county, every state, every American following the guidelines to a T," Birx said. "And I can tell by the curve ... that not every American is following it."

Birx said other countries have been able to slow the rate of Covid-19 spread after implementing social distancing guidelines.

"We can bend ours, but it means everybody needs to take that same responsibility," she said, adding that the guidelines mean people should be having "no dinner parties, no cocktail parties."

Later in the coronavirus task force briefing, Birx clarified after an interjection from President Donald Trump that not every area in the US is struggling to flatten its curve.

"What changes the (national) curve is a new Detroit, a new Chicago, a new New Orleans, a new Colorado. Those change the curves because it all of a sudden spikes with the new cases," Birx said. She said outbreaks in individual "hotspots" change the overall projections for the country in terms of coronavirus cases.

"This should not be happening any longer in new places if people are doing the social distancing, washing their hands, not getting together in large groups bigger than 10," Birx said.

"We're excited about those counties that have been testing and are still finding quite flat," she added.

Trump said his administration has been heartened by what he called "flat-liners," or the places where coronavirus cases have not spread rapidly.

"Many states have started low and slow," Trump said. "Some really stayed at a great level."

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