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Birx says U.S. underestimated community spread of coronavirus, spurred by young people

As states reopen and more tests are conducted, coronavirus cases continue to ravage the U.S. The Post spoke with experts to determine what wave we’re in. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)
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The Trump administration’s covid-19 response coordinator acknowledged Tuesday that the country was not prepared for the spread of the disease among young Americans — a key factor in recent spikes of infection across several states.

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On a video conference hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank, Deborah Birx, the physician who oversees the White House pandemic response, said leaders in states that were not hard-hit early on “thought they would be forever spared through this,” and when they reopened their economies, they didn’t expect a surge in cases spurred by a cohort of mostly millennials.

The United States has reported 29 consecutive days of record-high average infections, led by Texas, Florida, Georgia and California. Hospitalizations continued to climb in the South and West on Tuesday, with patients filling intensive care units and federal health officials moving to shore up testing in hot spots. More than 128,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus.

Here are some significant developments:

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