LEXINGTON, Ky. — One of the faces of America's response to the coronavirus came to the University of Kentucky's campus Monday to give the state a report card and answer questions from the press.
What You Need To Know
- Dr. Birx visits UK's campus
- Birx is coordinator of White House Coronavirus Task Force
- Birx praises Kentucky's progress in bringing positive results down over the summer
- Recommends expanding testing to reach asymptomatic communities
Marking her first trip to the Bluegrass state since July, Dr. Deborah Birx met with reporters after a closed-door meeting with UK administrators. The coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Birx praised Kentucky’s progress in bringing positive results down over the summer.
"I think that’s really due to the strong policies of the governor," Birx said while standing outside a campus building. "But also the strong work that every Kentuckian has done to really follow the guidance."
But Lexington has recently seen its largest single-day totals, and the state’s positivity rate has declined but hovered around 5 percent for months. Spectrum News 1 asked Birx if more should be done. She recommended expanding testing further to reach more asymptomatic communities.
"Moving that reserved extra testing capacity into community testing. We see it happening here in the university, they’ve set up community sites. But, throughout Kentucky, moving more and more into the community to make sure that we are testing people, not only that are symptomatic in hospitals and clinics, but also people in the community," she said.
Before she left, Birx answered a question about last week’s revelation that President Trump, in taped conversations, admitted to longtime Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward that he intentionally downplayed the virus early and repeatedly, despite knowing of its deadly potential and airborne delivery while the first cases reached the United States.
"I have never downplayed the virus. I have been very clear in my discussions to the president at the level of severity of this virus. And I am not going to second guess what the president has done or not done," she responded.
Birx visited UK as part of a tour of American schools as students return to campus.