Top HHS Official Says ‘Simple' Behavior Changes Would Curb Pandemic

Steps like closing bars and wearing masks could have the same impact as widespread economic shutdowns, Adm. Brett Giroir said Sunday

Brett Giroir
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

America does not need another large-scale shutdown to contain the surging coronavirus pandemic, the top official coordinating the Trump administration's COVID-19 testing said on Sunday.

Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, told NBC News' “Meet the Press” that the nation could “achieve the same results” as a broad shutdown and dramatically lower the coronavirus’ transmission rate with a few “simple” and important policy changes and behavioral modifications.

“I think we need to be very selective. Sure, if we shut everything down again, that would do it, but we don’t need to. But remember, there’s a tremendous health cost to shutting down — mental, emotional, substance use, but also no cancer screenings, no vaccines, all those other things,” he said.

“So let’s do what we know really works. Like I said, avoid bars because they really spread, restaurant capacity down 50 percent, hand hygiene and please wear a mask in public, that’s really, really, really important. We’ve got to have 90 or 95 percent adherence to that and we can achieve the same results.”

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