A top White House official has issued a dire warning about the recent rise in coronavirus cases in the US, telling a briefing on Monday: “Right now I’m scared.”
Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deviated from prepared remarks to reflect on the “recurring feeling I have of impending doom”.
“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared,” Walensky said, her voice wavering.
“I’m speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director, and not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer.”
Asked to explain her concern, Walensky noted that new cases in the US recently stagnated at around 40,000 per 50,000 a day but are now at about 70,000 a day.
Walensky urged Americans to continue taking every possible precaution to limit the spread of the virus, including mask-wearing and social distancing, as states work to get more residents vaccinated.