Governor Ivey hosted Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The governor, Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and Dr. Birx met first in the governor’s office, before moving to a roundtable discussion also here at the Capitol with various state health individuals, members of the business and religious communities and other lawmakers.
Dr. Birx emphasized very strongly that this is a critical time for the South to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and that the governor’s decision to issue a statewide mask order was “brilliant” and critical to keeping our businesses open and running safely. A variety of topics were discussed and questions were asked on anything from testing, to Remdesivir and reopening schools and churches safely. Dr. Birx explained that early on the virus seemed to be concentrated in large cities in the Northeast, however, this has not proven to be accurate in the South. She expressed how the South, specifically Alabama, has high rates statewide. Dr. Birx told the governor that she was personally worried about the South, which is why she visited our state in person. Governor Ivey is appreciative for her time and knowledge and looks forward to keeping an open dialogue with her and the Trump Administration as we work through the pandemic.