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Dr. Deborah Birx discusses coronavirus vaccine and Kansas’ rise in cases with KSN News

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News anchor Bret Buganski on Friday morning sat down with Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump White House coronavirus response coordinator, to talk about the coronavirus in Kansas, vaccine progress, and upcoming holiday gatherings. He will have the interviews at 5 & 6 p.m.


“Not only do we have these two vaccines that showed amazing impact on both severe disease and decreasing disease but also have two other vaccines in late-stage what we call Phase 3 trials so I think we’re on a roll with the vaccines and getting the data that we need.”

“The FDA looks carefully at every piece of data because they don’t just take for granted what the drug companies have said and they do a completely independent review, even independent from the data safety monitoring board.”


“Forty thousand people from all different walks of life, every American represented, independent of age, and race and ethnicity, came together to volunteer for these trials, they’re the ones who really took the risk. They didn’t know these vaccines were going to work or not, they didn’t know if they were safe or not so these Seventy thousand plus Americans stood up to protect us. We owe it to them to understand that we now have the evidence that they are safe and effective, they took that risk for the rest of us so we now have highly effective vaccines.”


“In the end, each state governor has developed a plan knowing their residents, knowing the risk of the disease, knowing who right now is being hospitalized and they will make a decision when the vaccine ships who’s going to get it.”


“We’re in a very difficult place in the Heartland. We’re in a very difficult place in the Northern Plains, the Rocky Mountain states, every place where it has gotten cold. This virus and its very contagious state has been expanding through the population.”

“To everyone in Kansas, I know things got cold. When it gets cold, people go inside, and they took their mask off, and they do what they usually do inside and this virus is not only highly contagious but it’s even more contagious in dryer air. We all know that our homes are dryer in the winter so now is the time if you just talked about vaccines being on the horizon, we need to protect not only our family but our neighbors in this moment. We know masks work, we know that physical distancing works, but if you decide to bring people together, they’re in your household without masks on and not distanced, you’re going to create what we call superspreader events.”


“Make the sacrifices over the next two weeks to four weeks to keep each other safe all the way through the holidays so we can get everybody at high risk vaccinated so we can have a different summer, fall and winter next year together.”

“What we saw in Miami, who was doing all of this critical mitigation they still had an ongoing spread because people were getting together Saturdays and Sundays and being together, and I can tell you even though many of those get-togethers were outside, if you’re close enough to someone, if you’re close enough to someone and hugging them and thrilled to be with them, you can not knowingly spread the virus, and to everybody in Kansas please remember if you’re over 70 and you get this virus you still have at least a 10% fatality rate. If you are over 70 and you get this virus, about 20% are admitted to the hospital, and so if you have those individuals in your household, you need to take the extra steps this holiday season to make sure they’re protected.”


“What’s really important is to sit down with the transition team and to go through how do you want to see the data? What do you want to see in views so they can really understand what is going on in America because we now have data down to every county, we can see every one of your hospitals, we know who has PPE or may have a PPE need, we can see every single admission, and I just want to thank the people in the health care delivery system who’ve been really providing that information to us.”


“What we learned across the South, is within two weeks of a clear mask mandate, plus closing the bars, restricting indoor dining, in some cases closing gyms, they came to plateau within two weeks and came down the other side. We need every county and every state taking those actions as soon as you start to see the cases going up, don’t wait, be proactive in testing and be proactive in your action.”


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