Skip to content

Surgeon General Issues COVID Warning For Us All

“We shouldn't let down our guard until cases not only come down but stay down.”

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising again, as the Delta variant infects the unvaccinated, and causes "breakthrough" cases among the vaccinated. Concerned for your life, the nation's Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy appeared with  CNN's Anderson Cooper to discuss the things you need to do to keep yourself—and our nation's children who are unvaccinated—safe. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.


The Surgeon General Warned That Some People "Are at Great Risk"

unrecognizable doctor trying to vaccinate its patient while she is refusing it.

"Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS that because the Delta variant is so contagious. If you live in an area where there's low vaccination rate and a high infection rate, and you are vulnerable, you should consider wearing N 95 mass. Even if you are vaccinated. Do you agree with that?" asked Cooper.

"It's certainly the case that this Delta variant that we were seeing as the most transmissible version of COVID-19, we've seen to date," said the doctor. "And it's absolutely the case that if you are unvaccinated that you are a great risk right now, and you should take measures if you are unvaccinated, like masking, distancing, avoiding indoor gatherings."


Don't Be Fooled Into Thinking the Pandemic is Anywhere Near Over, He Said

Pair of doctors checking an inpatient in intensive care while wearing their biosecurity suits

"There have been multiple times when we have been fooled by COVID-19, when cases went down and we thought we were in the clear and then cases went up again," Dr. Murthy said. "It means we shouldn't let down our guard until cases not only come down but stay down, and right now cases are actually going up. Cases are going up, hospitalizations are going up, death rates are ticking up."


The Surgeon General Said You Need to be Cautious

Woman Wearing Homemade Mask Picks Up Food at Restaurant During Covid-19 Lockdown

"As troubling as this news is, about this Delta variant and it's spreading so quickly in various pockets in the United States, we shouldn't lose sight of the good news here, which is that over the last few months, we have, according to independent research, saved millions of people from hospitalization and hundreds of thousands of people from COVID related deaths because of the vaccination effort." That said, he added later: "With COVID spreading with this Delta variant, it bears being cautious because this is being transmitted at a far higher rate than other versions of COVID-19."

RELATED: 5 Ways to Prevent Dementia, Says Dr. Sanjay Gupta


The Surgeon General Said Consider Your Circumstances, if You Have Children

A family walking holding hands wearing face masks in the middle of pandemic

"There's half the country who are vaccinated and I'm one of them," said Cooper. "And I have a small child and I want to know: Do I need to wear a mask? Because a whole bunch of my fellow Americans are choosing not to get vaccinated. And if I get infected, am I going to pass it onto my child?"

"I'm glad you asked and you and I are in the same boat," said the doctor. "I have two small children as well. They're three and four. They're too young to get vaccinated, and I'm worried about their health too. So here's how I'm thinking about it. You know, I know that if you're fully vaccinated, like you and I are, our risk of both getting sick and transmitting it to our children is low. But if you're in an area where there's a lot of infection, or if you're worried about that risk of transmission, then wearing a mask, especially in indoor settings, when you go out is the right thing to do. That's what I do. Because again, I want to take every possible measure to protect my child, even though the risk is low. Given that I live in an area where there's a lot of virus being transmitted, I want to be extra cautious. And so that's what I do. And that's what all parents can do is take that extra step."


How to Stay Safe Out There

Female patient smiling behind the face mask and with her eyes, while getting flu shot

Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, 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, 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.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more