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Dr. Deborah Birx visits Kentucky, meets with Gov. Beshear

Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 5:38 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - A key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force was in Kentucky again Tuesday meeting with Governor Beshear and lawmakers.

Gov. Beshear says Dr. Deborah Birx was complimentary of Kentucky’s efforts to fight COVID-19. A lot of the conversation was about what Kentucky is doing right and what other states are doing wrong.

“You can truly see the loss, the loss we don’t want to go through,” said Gov. Beshear.

Dr. Birx met with Gov. Beshear at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort. The two talked about the challenges of the new vaccines and how Kentucky is in a dangerous time right now with infections.

“So how important it is to keep working and to realize this virus will still be very much with us in the coming months as we get people vaccinated,” Gov. Beshear said.

The governor said the state is in a high plateau right now but the question remains if the state’s number of COVID-19 cases has peaked. He also said Dr. Birx is pleased with Kentucky’s mitigation efforts and has taken good steps to avoid the state resembling horror stories seen elsewhere like South Dakota.

The two talked a lot about the rollout of vaccinations, especially when it comes to long term facilities.

“And our biggest concern will be preaching patience. And people being willing to wait until the right time, and getting the most vulnerable, that will be the biggest challenge as we move into the Spring,” Gov. Beshear said.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice was vaccinated on live TV and Beshear says he also expects to receive his vaccination next week.

“To build confidence, we will invite other leadership that day, still, will depend on when the Moderna vaccine comes in,” Gov. Beshear says.

The governor also says that Dr. Birx remains concerned about all indoor activity, especially as the colder weather keeps more people inside and possibly in contact with more people.

Dr. Birx was scheduled to meet with leaders of the Kentucky House and Senate. The governor hopes the legislature will understand more of the necessity of the mandates and restrictions.

Lawmakers have already said one priority of the next legislative session will be to address the governor’s emergency powers and executive orders.

“And I think it’s pretty clear that if the legislature were to strip the authority to respond, we would look a lot like South Dakota, where there has been a choice not to do anything,” Gov. Beshear said.

Gov. Beshear also said that his administration has a good relationship with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and says many of the same members will carry on into the Biden administration, which the governor expects to have a positive relationship with.

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