MADISON, Wis. — White House Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Deborah Birx spoke to News 3 Now’s Jamie Perez about her deep concern for Wisconsin’s rapidly increasing COVID cases.
“Your case numbers are extraordinarily high, your rate of hospitalizations are extraordinarily high and we know what follows that is a high rate of fatalities,” Birx said. “Not only that it’s high, it’s the rate of increase that has us very concerned.”
Sixty five out of our 72 counties are at a critically high level according to the Department of Health Services. Only 8% of the state’s ICU beds are open right now.
“We are getting to the point where hospitals are strained and are likely to run out of staff before they run out of physical space,” said UW Health’s Dr. Ryan Westergaard.
There have been more than 294,000 confirmed COVID cases in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is now seeing a higher 7-day average than New York City did this spring.
At a press conference Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers said, “We have a long road ahead of us. Staying home to save lives is one of the best ways you can help the farmers, the workers, the families, health care systems and small businesses that need our help now more than ever.”
Birx said Wisconsin should look at what other states have done to help flatten the curve and follow their lead.
“We are really asking people in this moment to do everything they can to save their own life and the lives of people they love. What you’re doing is not enough to flatten that curve.”