- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dr. Deborah Birx, the U.S. coronavirus response coordinator, on Tuesday said officials will likely be keeping a close eye on countries such as Australia and New Zealand to see how the southern hemisphere deals with the virus in the months ahead.

“Normally, northern hemisphere respiratory diseases move into the southern hemisphere during the summer because it’s their fall,” Dr. Birx said on “Fox & Friends.”

“It will be very interesting to watch Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa, and Chile and Argentina to see what happens with the virus in the summertime and what’s happening to the virus here,” she said. “So really, those two pieces together will really define how we do in the fall.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week that the country has won the current “battle” against the virus as New Zealand lifted some of the restrictions it had imposed in response.

Dr. Birx said the White House’s job right now is to prepare for anything that might happen in the fall, whether it’s testing, personal protective equipment, ventilators, or a surveillance system to track for both asymptomatic and symptomatic people.

“All of those pieces need to accelerate and expand [to] be ready for the fall,” she said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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