CDC director has feeling of ‘impending doom’ amid new COVID spike

Dr. Rochelle Walensky

"I know what it's like to stand in that patient room, gowned, gloved, masked, shielded, and to be the last person to touch someone else's loved one because their loved one couldn't be there", she said.

"We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope", she said.

"I know people are exhausted", Walensky said during the briefing.

"I'm going to lose the script and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom", Walensky told a briefing with reporters.

At the time, Walensky said, the seven-day average of new cases was about 57,000 cases a day - a 7% increase from the seven days prior.

"I'm speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director and not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer", Walensky added, an emotional plea that came as states across the nation-from Arizona to Iowa to Montana-rush ahead with reopening plans despite dire warnings from public health officials. "When we see that uptick in cases what we've seen before is that things really have a tendency to surge and surge big".

He expressed concern about people "letting up on precautions" prematurely and said that while there's a lot of good news, there's some presently troubling metrics on covid cases.

Biden delivered a direct appeal to governors, state and local leaders to reinstate mask-wearing requirements if they have eased them.

The White House said it expected the private sector to take the lead on verification of COVID-19 vaccines, or so-called vaccine passports, and would not issue a federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.

He said he was taking these steps: 90 percent of all adults will be eligible by April 19, and the vast majority of adults won't have to wait until May 1.

Biden announced that the USA was expecting delivery of 33 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week - including 11 million doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot. "He will continue to do that through all of his engagements".

Anthony Fauci, the federal government's top expert on infectious diseases, at the briefing showed X-rays of lungs to remind people of the damage that COVID-19 could do.

The variant is more contagious and may likely be associated with more severe disease, Fauci has previously said.

In a message to the American public, Walensky said, "I'm asking you to just hold on a little while longer, to get vaccinated when you can, so that all of those people that we all love will still be there when this pandemic ends".

"We are not powerless". "People want to be done with this. I, too, want to be done with this", Walensky said. "I so badly want to be done, I know you all so badly want to be done, we are just nearly there but not quite yet", she said. He said officials are anxious that "it would discourage people" from getting vaccinated if the federal government was involved.



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