Millennials Are Spreading COVID-19 at Highest Rates, Docs Say

coronavirus task force

Getty Deborah Birx, coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speak after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The Coronavirus Task Force addressed the nation for the first time in two months Friday to talk about the paradigm shift in how the virus is spreading and to make an appeal to people under 40 to do their part.

Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony, Fauci, and CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield were among those that spoke on the latest updates on COVID-19 with a running theme: Younger people are now the group with the most cases of COVID-19 and their actions are now vital to slow the spread of the virus.

While a slideshow showed how some areas of the country are having far more cases than others, particularly in Texas, Florida, Arizona and California, according to Dr. Fauci, as a society we are all interconnected so what happens in one place can easily happen in another.

That’s why he said people have a societal responsibility to follow the prescribed guidelines to keep from infecting others.

“We can be part of the solution or part of the problem,” Fauci said.

Fauci emphasized several times that blame is not important regarding the why, how, and who as the progress America made on slowing the virus is backsliding. He said what is important is that we all want the same thing.

“We’ve got to look at the fact of what our role is in trying to put an end to this because everybody wants to end it. Everybody wants to get back to normal. And everybody wants the economy to recover. I think we all are pretty common in that. That is a given,” Fauci said.


CDC Director Dr. Redfield Made an Appeal to Millenials to Follow Prevention Guidance, Saying Everyone Doesn’t ‘Advertise Their Comorbidities’

Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC Director

GettyDirector of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert R. Redfield speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Now that the CDC has changed its high-risk group for severe complications from COVID-19 to be more about underlying conditions at any age versus just being over a certain age, Redfield said that it’s important for people under 40, who often are asymptomatic, to consider not just older people who have underlying conditions but also younger people, including children, who may be fighting cancer or have type 1 diabetes.

He said you never know when you’ll encounter someone with an illness that makes them more susceptible to the severe effects of the disease, so following the CDC guidelines to stop the spread of the virus is still vital to saving lives.

CDC

Centers for Disease ControlCDC graphic of COVID-19 cases by age.

Dr. Birx thanked millennials for getting tested in large numbers because it’s helping doctors to understand the role of asymptomatic and mild cases.

She said, “thanks to the millennials who have been heeding our guidance, they have been coming forward and getting tested…and this is a great change for us because it allows us now to find the asymptomatic and the mild diseases that we couldn’t find before.”

Going forward, Birx said it is vital for those under 40 to keep getting tested, “because that’s the age group most likely to have asymptomatic spread and be spreading the virus unbeknownst to them.”

She said even if someone in that age group has no symptoms it’s still important to be tested “in order to have that awareness.”

Birx reiterated though, that if you are over 80 or have an underlying health issue and live in one of the coronavirus hotspots, you should shelter in place as much as possible and “use your grandchildren to go and do your shopping.”


Pence Said Even Though the Coronavirus Task Force is Asking People to Socially Distance and Not Gather in Groups the Trump Campaign is Still Holding Rallies Because of Freedoms Guaranteed in the Constitution

Dr. Fauci and VP Pence

GettyDirector of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci watches as Vice President Mike Pence speaks after leading a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.

At the end of the press conference during the reporter questions, Pence was asked why Trump rallies continue, which are social gatherings, when the task force is saying take all the precautions possible, including no mass gatherings.

He replied, “Freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, and we have an election coming up this fall. President Trump and I believe that taking proper steps — with screening at recent events and giving people the very best council that we have — we still want to give people to participate in the political process and we respect that.”

In regards to the way mask-wearing has become a point of contention in the U.S, Pence recommended that people listen to their local leadership on that, whether at the state, city or county level.

“It’s not one size fits all,” he said.

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