Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, visits Virginia Tech


BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician who is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, made a special visit to Blacksburg Wednesday.

Dr. Birx has toured about 12 colleges and universities across America.

“We decided when we saw colleges opening and one of them closing, that it was really important to get to college campuses, to understand the students, the faculty and administration approach to this.”

Watch Dr. Birx’s remarks at the top of this article.

Birx participated in a closed-door roundtable at Virginia Tech.

She says Virginia Tech was able to use its facility to increase testing for students and the community, which hasn’t been common.

“This is a university that understood the need, understood the gap, and were willing to self sacrafice their own research opportunities to bring additional testing solutions to the people of this community and this university campus.”

She even noted how the students were good at keeping the curve down before coming back to campus.

“They had some of the lowest test rates in the United States. That means we have smart 18 and 19 years olds who know how to not test positive. And so they took those precautions before they came here.”

Dr. Birx also say the university is in a unique position to research and develop certain things that will help fight against the pandemic.

Like their waste water research and the work being done by droplet scientists studying how much distance is required to reduce the spread of the virus.

She told WFXR’s Eric Pointer that Virginia Tech has a unique ability to study the reach of droplets and required physical distancing.

“There’s really a whole set of knowledge where we have gaps that I think this institution can uniquely answer for us.”

Dr. Birx says they hope to compile everything they’re learning into guide for all univerisities and local governments to access.

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