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CDC Chief Issues "Sobering" Warning

Numbers are trending down, but don’t start celebrating quite yet.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Rochelle Walensky

COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths continued to decline across the country this week, as more Americans are lining up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While this is welcoming news, after several months of surges, it does not mean that we are in the clear just yet. During Friday's White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued a "sobering" warning, begging Americans not to let their guard down. Read on to find out what she had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Dr. Walensky Had a "Stark Reminder" and "Sobering" Warning

After confirming that numbers are trending in the right direction, she referenced a new study showing how life expectancy has been impacted by the international health crisis. "These numbers are a stark reminder of the thousands of lives lost to this pandemic," she began. "Another reminder of the devastating impact the pandemic has had on our country was brought into clear view yesterday in a report released by the CDC on the provisional life expectancy in the first half of 2020. The report found that life expectancy was at its lowest level in 15 years, dropping by a full year compared to the life expectancy In 2019. This represents a substantial decline in life expectancy in our nation." 

She added that some groups were more adversely impacted than others. "importantly like the populations most heavily affected by this pandemic, the declines in life expectancy, where again, most pronounced in certain racial and ethnic minority groups. the largest declines in life expectancy occurred in non-Hispanic black persons dropping 2.7 years—levels not seen since 2001—and Hispanic persons have lost the second largest life expectancy dropping 1.9 years."

She then declared the findings "not surprising" but "sobering," adding that they are "representative of the continued need to take this pandemic and actions to stop the spread of COVID-19 seriously."

"Now, more than ever with continued spread of variants that stand up to threaten the progress we are making we must recommit to doing our part, to protect one another—wear a well-fitting mask, social distance, avoid travel and crowds,  practice good hand hygiene, and get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you."

RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci

How to Stay Safe This Pandemic

So follow her fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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