White House coronavirus task force touts decline in virus deaths, addresses spike in positive cases

Vice President Mike Pence, left, listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, right, speaks during a news conference with members of the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:25 PM PT — Friday, June 26, 2020

Despite the recent rise in virus cases, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed COVID-19 fatalities are declining all across the country. During Friday’s task force briefing, he said only 5% of virus patients are being hospitalized for coronavirus symptoms, compared to 15% at the peak of the pandemic.

While 16 states have seen a surge in positive cases, 34 are experiencing a “stability” in cases as they safely reopen.

“Because of what the American people have done, because of the incredible work of our health care workers, because of a partnership with governors in every state, we slowed the spread,” stated Pence. “We flattened the curve, we saved lives.”

According to Dr. Deborah Birx, the increasing rate of cases is not as bad as was it was months ago. During the briefing, she touted the success of therapeutic treatments, including Remdesivir.

Moving forward, the task force urged younger generations to get tested, as many may be asymptomatic carriers.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, center, speaks as Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, left, listen during a news conference with members of the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The vice president announced he will be travelling to U.S. virus hot spots, including Texas, Arizona and Florida next week.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering a new testing strategy for coronavirus infections. Task force Dr. Anthony Fauci explained officials are having “intense discussions” about adopting pool sampling.

The new method can test groups of five to 20 people at a time. If the test comes back positive, they can then test each person in the group individually.

This would cast a broader net and would allow officials to find cases faster. The technique has been used in the past for testing HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and other viruses.

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