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CDC Chief Warns Pandemic is "More Severe Than Ever"

The war against COVID is far from over.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab
Rochelle Walensky

As Americans continue to head back to the movies, sporting events, restaurants and gyms, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the pandemic isn't over yet. In fact, during the United States Senate Committee Hearing entitled An Update from Federal Officials on Efforts to Combat COVID-19 on Tuesday, she warned that the pandemic is more severe than ever. Read on to hear exactly what she had to say—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss this special report: I'm a Doctor and Warn You Never Take This Supplement.

1

Cases Are Trending Down—in America, That Is

Female and male doctors wearing masks and uniforms are visiting to check the symptoms of middle-aged female patients lying in bed.
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Dr. Walensky first expressed her pride surrounding successful vaccination efforts. "I am so proud to report the administration of more than 261 million vaccine doses," she explained, adding that over 84% of Americans aged 65 and older and over 58% of all adult Americans have now received at least one vaccine dose. She also pointed out that cases continue to trend down as more Americans get vaccinated. 

2

Globally, "The Pandemic Is More Severe Than Ever"

Gateway of India at morning, Mumbai, India.
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"We are cautiously optimistic," she continued, revealing that "globally, the pandemic is more severe than ever." She pointed to what is going on in India, where the "surge of cases is tragic and a reminder that the virus can rapidly outstrip our efforts to contain it. If we are not careful, we will not end this pandemic without working hand in hand with countries around the globe to fight COVID-19."

She also shared a grim statistic that 579,000 have died in the United States thus far, and over 39,000 since March. "Every death is a stark reminder of why we must remain vigilant and focused to end this pandemic as quickly as possible."

3

This Summer There Will Still Be "An Unacceptable Number of Deaths"

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital, coronavirus concept.
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David Kessler, MD, Chief Science Officer, COVID Response, United States Department of Health and Human Services also expressed concern that vaccination efforts alone won't end the pandemic. "I am concerned that even after we finish vaccinating most of the people who want to be vaccinated, by this summer there will still be a significant number of cases and an unacceptable number of deaths," he predicted. "People who are immunosuppressed, who do not manage an immune response for a number of reasons or choose not to be vaccinated will continue to be vulnerable."

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4

Keep Doing Your Part 

Young man wearing two face masks.
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Along with continuing the effort to vaccinate every American, "even with this powerful tool, while we continue to have community transmission, we must also maintain public health measures," Dr. Walensky noted. "We know what will prevent the spread of this virus: mask, hand hygiene, and physical distancing." So follow Fauci's 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.