Dr. Deborah Birx says she’s ‘impressed’ with Kentuckians during UK visit

Dr. Deborah Birx says she’s ‘impressed’ with Kentuckians during UK visit

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WAVE) - Dr. Deborah Birx, a top member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, was in Lexington visiting the University of Kentucky Monday to discuss the battle against COVID-19.

“I’ve really been impressed with the ability of Kentuckians really follow protocols,” Birx said.

Birx has been to 30 states in the last two months making several stops at universities. She said colleges can bring students back to campus during the pandemic safely with rigorous planning, but it greatly depends on how students behave.

She commended the University of Kentucky for doing a good job controlling its positive coronavirus cases.

“We have now seen throughout the summer that these infections are brought into institutions due to what happens off campus and communities,” Birx said.

She said the spread of the virus is more dangerous when universities close.

“When you have students distributed throughout the community without real linkages to each other and the psychosocial support they need with in-person classes but, also the psychosocial support for those caring for them when they turn COVID positive,” Birx said.

Birx says our defense against this virus is simple: our behavior.

“We know precisely how to prevent spread,” Birx said. “We don’t need a pill. We know what we can do because we see across the south dramatic decreases in the number of new cases that test positively.”

Birx says she will be visiting Tennessee and Virginia Tech next.

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