Weather Alert

White House advisor airs concerns about rising COVID-19 rate in Iowa

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a meeting with higher education leaders on safely reopening schools, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

WASHINGTON — A key advisor on the White House Coronavirus Task Force says Iowa is among a group of states where mitigation efforts should increase.

Dr. Deborah Birx says the concern is rising infection rates among 20 and 30 year olds in Iowa — coupled with the fact between five and 10 percent of those being tested in Iowa are found to have the virus. She says if officials wait for hospitalizations to spike, it is in her estimation “really way too late.” Birx made her comments during a conference call with governors.

Vice President Mike Pence, who was also on the call, says shut downs aren’t the answer, but Pence said studies show things like the use of face masks, limited social gatherings and bar closures are slowing the spread in the same way sheltering in place did this spring.

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