CDC Chief Just Issued This "Critical" Warning
As Texas rolls back restrictions to open up "100%" of businesses, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says, wait! "We continued to see troubling signs and the trajectory of the pandemic among us with the most recent declines in cases and deaths continuing to show signs of stalling," she said at Wednesday's White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing. President Joe Biden was more direct: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask and forget it," he told reporters at the White House. "It's critical, critical, critical, critical that they follow the science." Read on to hear more of Walensky's warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
The CDC Chief Said the Variants Are Reaching More People
"We knew this could happen as variants emerged and reach more people and more communities, but we can still reduce their impact," said Dr. Walensky. "The most recent seven day average of cases, 66,000, is an increase of 3.5% from the prior seven days. The most recent seven day average of deaths also increased 2.2% from the previous seven days to now slightly more than 2,000 deaths per day. Today," she continues, "we are at a critical nexus in the pandemic so much can turn in the next few weeks. On the one hand cases in the country are leveling off at rates just on the cusp of potential to resurge and the B117 hyper-transmissible variant looms ready to hijack our successes to date."
The CDC Chief Warned That Fatigue May Be Winning
"Stamina has worn thin," said Dr. Walensky. "Fatigue is winning and the exact measures we have taken to stop the pandemic are now too often being flagrantly ignored"—she was likely speaking of Texas there—"all the while, we are just on the verge of capitalizing on the culmination of a historic scientific success—the ability to vaccinate the country in just a matter of three or four more months."
The CDC Chief Says You're in Control of the Pandemic
"How this plays out is up to us," said Dr. Walensky. "The next three months are pivotal. I'm asking you to reach deeply to protect our nation's health and to protect your loved ones, whether they're mandated or not as individuals and as communities, we can still take the right public health action to protect ourselves and others wearing a well-fitting mask, avoiding travel and crowds, social distancing, and practicing good hand hygiene. Now more than ever, we must do all we can to stop the spread of the virus."
The CDC Chief Implored That You Get Vaccinated ASAP
"We now have a third safe and highly effective vaccine following the emergency use authorization by the FDA," said Dr. Walensky of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. "We saw footage of the first dose is being administered yesterday. This is a remarkable achievement with the additional vaccine. More vaccine doses are making their ways into communities, making it possible for more people to get vaccinated and protected from COVID-19. And because this vaccine is a single shot and it's easier to store and transport, we can provide vaccines in more communities and mobile sites." Get yours ASAP, she implored.
How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic
"Wash your hands, hot water. Do it frequently, wear a mask and stay socially distanced. And I know you all know that. I wish the heck some of our elected officials knew it," said Biden. So follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, 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.