- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 3, 2020

The U.S. is in the early stages of understanding how the coronavirus spreads through people who display no symptoms, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, the U.S. coronavirus response coordinator.

Dr. Birx said on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine” that the understanding of the virus changes on a daily basis.

“I think we underestimated very early on the number of asymptomatic cases,” Dr. Birx said. “And I think we’re really beginning to understand there are people that get infected that those symptoms are so low-grade that they don’t even know that they’re infected.”

Dr. Birx added that many of those dying from coronavirus have other diseases, such as heart disease or problems with their immune systems.

“[W]e’re seeing the majority of the people that we’re losing to this disease have those other diseases that you just described,” she said. “And so, I do believe that a lot of the diseases we’re seeing in the hospital right now, yes, they may have preexisting conditions but those preexisting conditions are resulting in them having a much more serious course when they’re infected with this virus.”

Dr. Birx also reiterated her view that the most important way to get rid of the virus is with a vaccine.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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