Panel's Warning: Summer Won't Be a COVID Killer

'Pandemic likely will not diminish' in warmer weather, experts tell White House
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2020 12:17 PM CDT
Don't Count on Warm Weather Stopping Virus
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, left, stands as President Trump arrives to speak about the coronavirus with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Researchers are warning the Trump administration not to bank on warm weather to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In a letter sent to the White House, a panel from the National Academy of Sciences says data on the spread of the virus in cold versus warm weather is inconclusive, per the New York Times. It cites "some evidence" of reduced transmissions under high temperature and humidity, but it also notes the virus spread "exponentially" under the same conditions in China, and is continuing to spread in balmy Australia and Iran. "Given current data, we believe that the pandemic likely will not diminish because of summer, and we should be careful not to base policies and strategies around the hope that it will," says immunologist Kristian Andersen, a member of the panel behind the letter.

The letter also mentions research by Tulane University's Chad Roy, who found that COVID-19 lived longer than influenza, monkeypox, tuberculosis, and the SARS virus when subjected to high heat and humidity, reports CNN. Dr. Anthony Fauci seemed to agree with the outlook offered in the letter during a Thursday appearance on Good Morning America. While certain other viruses see a reduced ability to spread under warm weather, "one should not assume that we are going to be rescued by a change in the weather," he said, per the AP. "If we get some help from the weather, so be it, fine. But I don't think we need to assume that." In February and March, President Trump suggested that April's warmer temperatures would stymie the virus, though he hasn't made the claim more recently. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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