Susan Walsh / AP
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concerns Wednesday about the recent rise in the number of new coronavirus cases, warning that pandemic fatigue and easing of restrictions could be a step for it. The rise again this spring
In an interview with All Things Considered NPR, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the coming weeks could prove pivotal to determine that nearly a year in the US epidemic would be able to find a way out of the crisis. Or not But she said the country was facing storms from both the highly contagious virus spread and efforts to reverse everything from mask use to how quickly it opened up business again.
“I think the next two or three months can go in either direction from two directions,” Valensky told host Arishapiro. “If things were open, if we weren’t really careful, we could end up with the kind of post-spring break we saw after Christmas, so we could see more diseases, we could see more deaths.”
“In a different light,” Walensky continues, “I see that we have more determination in a couple of months, we have vaccinated many people, and we can go to really great places in the summer. ”
Walensky’s comments followed Tuesday’s announcement by the governors of Texas and Mississippi that they would end mask enforcement in their states and allow businesses to reopen at full capacity. Nathibdee Biden was like “Neanderthal thinking” on Wednesday.
In Texas, new cases are down about 9% from the average two weeks ago, but are up 20% since last week. In Mississippi, new cases were similarly down from two weeks ago, but were up 62% from last week’s figures.
“The CDC honestly recommends that masking is a normal social aloof routine right now while we are at this juncture. This critical time is this difficult point, and therefore does not fit the way that we are. We truly recommend it, ”Walensky said. Refers to Tuesday’s announcement
“I would say the reason I wore the mask was not because my governor told me so,” she added. “The reason I wear a mask is because I know it protects myself, protects the people I love, it protects my neighbors and my community, so I think everyone has the power to do the right thing and wear a mask.”
While the reverse in Texas and Mississippi represented two of the most expanding in the country. But it is far from a single announcement. Massachusetts allowed restaurants to reopen at full capacity, and in South Carolina, the Henry McMaster government lifted the ban on large gatherings.
Walensky acknowledged the reality of the pandemic fatigue. “We are exhausted,” she said.
But now, as more and more Americans are vaccinated. “There was a vision, there was a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
“Now is not the time to stop wearing masks.”
Since taking office in January, Valensky has been largely looking at signs of hope in the fight against the epidemic. Overall, new cases fell by about 70%, bringing the average number of new cases closer to the final levels seen in the fall. Meanwhile, the number of new patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has dropped about 60 percent since its peak in January.
But on Wednesday, the CDC director warned the agency could still see “Troubling signs” that recent progress has hindered, Walensky said at a White House briefing, said the latest seven-day average of 66,000 new patients was a 3.5 percent increase over the past seven days. Deaths increased 2.2% during that time to slightly more than 2,000 on a daily basis.
Authorities have identified an increasingly widespread and widespread spread of the virus across the country, particularly B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the UK and found to be infectious. More than 50% more than the stress spreads in the United States.
“What worries me the most is that we are more and more stable now, with about 60,000 to 70,000 cases per day, and that’s too many to try to end this outbreak,” Walensky told NPR.
“It worries me too, because while we stabilize these very high levels of viruses, we have an overly contagious strain, the B.1.1.7 strain, which threatens the progress we have made.” So far, ”she said.“ So with the levels of these viruses being spread and the strains that are too invasive, I’m just worried about what the future holds.
Walensky said it was too early to tell whether the country was at the top of the case or into a swing in more protracted cases.
On the vaccine page, Walensky expressed optimism when asked about President Biden’s forecast this week that by the end of May there will be enough vaccines for all adults in the United States. Weekend by the Food and Drug Administration The decision to grant emergency authorization for the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson made it the third vaccine to certify that authorization.
“I think the supply will keep growing over the next few weeks. I think the end of March should be better, the end of April looks even better,” Walensky said. To eight weeks we are about to start to see a real increase in supply. ”
The audio for the story was produced and composed by Andrea Hsu, Mia Venkat and Courtney Dorning.