"It's a matter of vaccine and vigilance," Dr. Birx said. "We can do this for a matter of weeks while we get our population immunized. We don't need to have parties this year. We can have parties in July, we can have parties in August. We can have a party next year at this time. We are so close. We have this great beacon of hope but we need to get everybody to that place and to be vaccinated."
Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you
During the visit, she said she made clear that hospitals now have access to the same kind of therapeutics used to treat President Trump after his diagnosis.
"Really ensuring every single person in North Carolina knows that if you have these comorbidities and you get infected that there are drugs specially made and available for you but you have to be diagnosed early and you've got to get those infusions," Dr. Birx said. "Those are those monoclonal antibodies made by Libby or Regeneron plus Remdesivir. We want every patient to know this treatment is available because in the end we're always our best advocates so we really want patients and their families to advocate with their doctors to get this monoclonal antibody. We know it's very effective if used early."
US set records for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths Wednesday
"We're not asking you to (wear masks) for six more months or ten more months," she said. "We're saying protect those vulnerable individuals in your household now."
"We don't know is if there are long term consequences of mild or asymptomatic disease," she said. "We don't know 10 or 20 years from now. We don't want anyone getting this virus."
Dr. Birx, who in the spring made frequent appearances with President Donald Trump, said she has not spoken to the President directly in at least one month and instead communicates with Vice President Mike Pence. She said she has twice met with President Elect Biden's Transition Team.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine poised for US greenlight after panel endorsement
"I've been on the road since June. Visited 43 states, all hot zones at the time I was there. I've stayed at hotels, eaten at restaurants, eaten outdoors, been in retail places. I wore my mask. I was physically distant. I paid attention to what I was touching. I'm living proof you can be out, you can do your job, and you can stay COVID19 negative - but it takes vigilance. That's why our message has always been protect, protect, protect. Mask, mask, mask, distance, distance, distance and hygiene."