Several young people have fallen seriously ill from the coronavirus in Europe, the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force said on Wednesday, suggesting that the elderly are not the only group vulnerable to the flu-like virus. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force response coordinator, urged millennials to heed health guidelines more forcefully and avoid any large social gatherings. “There are concerning reports coming our of France and Italy about some young people getting seriously ill and very seriously ill in ICUs,” she said during the task force’s briefing on Wednesday. She said the task force feared that Americans had seen data from China and South Korea that suggested the flu-like virus largely affected the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions. “It may have been that the millennial generation, our largest generation, our future generation... there may be [a] disproportional number of infections among that group and so even if its a rare occurrence, it may be seen more frequently in that group and be evidence now.” She said millennials “cannot have these large gatherings that continue to occur across the country.. you have the potential to spread it to someone.” She added that there does not appear to be significant mortality among children.
The task force issued 15-day guidelines on Monday that, in part, said states with evidence of community transmission should close bars, restaurants, and places where large groups congregate. They also called on all Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.