Can you talk about your concerns about deaths being misreported by coronavirus because of either testing standards for how they’re characterized?
Dr. Deborah Birx:
I think in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality and I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. Prior to that, when there wasn’t testing in January and February, that’s a very different situation and unknown. There are other countries, that if you had a pre-existing condition and let’s say the virus called you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem, some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. Right now we’re still recording it and we all… I mean the great thing about having forms that come in and a form that has the ability to mark it as COVID-19 infection. The intent is right now, that if someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.
Right. Can you be sure when you hear from coroner’s that that’s not necessarily the case or are you sure how can you be confident about that and is concerned that its views the data that you’re trying to collect in terms of projections?
Dr. Deborah Birx:
Well I think that would applied more to rural areas that may not have the same level of testing but I am pretty confident in New York City and New Jersey and places that have these large outbreaks and COVID-only hospitals I can tell you they are testing New York and New Jersey together have by proportion are testing extraordinary well as Washington State and Louisiana so I don’t see that there’s been a barrier in testing to diagnosis I think there’s so much focus now on coronavirus that particularly if you take New York which we all know is having a disproportionately higher proportion of the burden of the entire country is right now in New York you know I can’t imagine if someone comes in with coronavirus goes to an ICU and they have an underlying heart condition and they die they’re gonna say cause of death heart attack III cannot see that that happening so I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem or a question for dr. pouchy on the virus hitting black communities the hardest I mean these numbers are staggering Louisiana and other states are reporting forty to seventy percent of deaths or african-americans do you expect that pattern to continue nationwide some states have not even reported their data yet you know I I can’t be confident to predict patterns but the underlying reason why that is happening doesn’t change from state to state worse no I expect that when African Americans get infected given the disproportionate disparity of the underlying conditions that lead to complications like the ones I mentioned I expect that we will still see the pattern that when you look at the proportion of people who get into serious trouble and die again it’s going to be disproportionate towards the African Americans I do expect that and is the federal government now leading the charge and collecting this information from the states and when will being public yes the answer is yes it will be public as soon as you get enough data to be able to make a meaningful statement