NEW YORK - The spread of COVID-19 in recent months is coming from interactions within households, neighborhoods and community events, according to White House Coronavirus Task Force leader Dr. Deborah Birx.
"We really need to do a better job within our households and within our communities of protecting each other and ensuring the virus doesn't' spread in the communities," said Birx during an interview on FOX 5 NY morning program, 'Good Day New York.'
Spikes in coronavirus cases in Brooklyn, Queens, Rockland County, and Broome County have resulted in controversial lockdowns. But Dr. Birx says while she isn't second-guessing local leaders' decisions, she doesn't advocate for closing down schools and businesses.
"You notice I didn't talk about locking anything down. In the spring we had to use a very blunt instrument, we, frankly, didn't understand all the way it was being spread. Now I think we have a very good ability to figure this out."
In an outbreak post-Memorial Day in some Southern States, a lockdown was not imposed and the virus was contained.
"We were able to contain the virus with physical distancing, wearing masks, continued personal hygiene, but retail remained fully open and restaurants moved outdoors," said Birx.
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The doctor, who is touring colleges across the country encouraging students to follow safety protocols, says she hasn't seen 'on the ground data' in New York's COVID hot spots.
"My message to the Northeast and the country is you cannot tell who is infected. There is a lot of asymptomatic individuals out there who are not intentionally spreading the virus. They don't know they have the virus. We have to think about this differently.' said Dr. Birx.