Photo Gallery: White House Coronavirus Task Force Leader Deborah Birx Visits UArizona Labs
Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House's coronavirus task force, visited the University of Arizona campus on Friday to tour labs where researchers are helping in the fight against COVID-19.
Following the visit, a White House report about the state of Iowa's response to COVID-19, said the University of Arizona was a model for "transparently tracking COVID cases" citing its COVID-19 dashboard.
Birx praised the university's efforts to test as many members of the university community as possible to find asymptomatic cases. The university has administered nearly 33,000 tests since early August. The university publishes each day's test results at 8 p.m. on its COVID-19 dashboard.
"They really plan for a significant testing of their students regularly so they can find cases," Birx told television station KVOA. "And, most important, they can find the asymptomatic cases."
Birx made the stop as part of a national college tour to see how colleges and universities are responding to the pandemic. She spent the afternoon meeting first with University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins and other university leaders.
Birx then toured University of Arizona Health Sciences labs where researchers were testing antibody and antigen samples collected from students and employees. Birx stopped by the labs of Dr. Janko Nikolich-Žugich, department head and professor of immunobiology, Deepta Bhattacharya, associate professor of immunobiology, Ryan Sprissler, staff scientist and manager of the UArizona Genetics Core, and David Harris, professor of immunobiology and executive director of the Arizona Health Sciences Center Biorepository. Nikolich-Žugich, Bhattacharya and Harris are members of the UArizona BIO5 Institute.
The visit also included Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.