Despite the fact the coronavirus crisis remains a grave problem, many Americans have been eager to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday over the weekend. This notion has given Dr. Deborah Birx, a leading health official on the White House's coronavirus task force, pause. In a recent interview on Fox News Sunday, Birx even shared that she was "very concerned" for Americans who are celebrating Memorial Day weekend without adhering to proper safety and social distancing guidelines.
Birx said on Fox News Sunday that she was mainly concerned with those who would be going outside without adhering to social distancing measures, according to The Hill. She said that studies recently revealed that maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals is one of the ways in which people can best keep themselves safe amidst this pandemic. She said, "We now have excellent scientific evidence of how far droplets go when we speak or just simply talking to one another. We know it's important for people to socially interact, but we also know it's very important for people to have masks on when they speak … we have to maintain that six-feet difference." Birx went on to share that being outside can help people keep a safe distance from others but that "doesn't change the fact that people need to be responsible and maintain that distance."
Elsewhere in her interview, Birx addressed the backlash from those who do not wish to wear a mask when out in public. However, the medical professional stressed that wearing a mask is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe and that it's important that everyone adheres to this precaution when out in public. She continued when explicitly asked about this issue by host Chris Wallace, "What we have said to people is there's clear scientific evidence now… that a mask does prevent droplets from reaching others, and out of respect for each other, as Americans that care for each other, we need to be wearing masks in public when we cannot social distance."
Naturally, the conversation then turned towards President Donald Trump. He has been reluctant to wear a mask when out in public. (The president was photographed wearing one during an appearance at a Michigan auto plant last week.) Birx continued to say that masks are indeed essential for those who are not able to maintain a safe distance from others amidst this pandemic. Although, she said about Trump, "I'm assuming that in a majority of cases, he's able to maintain that distance."