Top coronavirus aide to president may make a visit to West Virginia


MARTINSBURG, WV (WDVM) — A senior White House health advisor may be making her way to West Virginia, possibly as early as next week.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump administration coordinator of the coronavirus task force, has embarked on a multi-state “listening tour,” starting in Oklahoma. The Mountain State is a possible stop in the near future. West Virginia is reporting more than 100 positive tests a day and some people are calling for a clearly-defined strategy that might accommodate a safe return to the classroom by next month.

Meanwhile, a top health official in the eastern panhandle advises discipline and patience.

“Keeping the spread down is what we need to do for many months until a vaccine that’s effective and safe is actually available,” says Dr. Terrence Reidy, Director of the Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department.

A senior aide in Dr. Reidy’s department is warning about the trend showing a spike in infection among the younger demographic. Her focus is data-driven.

“We want to understand the importance of listening to the science,” says Cara Harding. “It’s important we are listening to medical advice and what we need to do to protect ourselves.”

Harding said the number of tests being administered is going down, but the death rate and rate of infection remains high. Her theory is people are discouraged by the long waits for the test and the long wait for the results.

Meanwhile, Dr. Birx has raised the issue of how some strains of the coronavirus are distinctive in rural communities.

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