Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once warned of "impending doom," concerned this COVID-19 pandemic would get out of hand. Today, during a talk at the Johns Hopkins Health Policy Forum, she was more optimistic about the outlook, but still warned of "stumbling blocks" that might make this nightmare last even longer than it should. Read on for 5 key points she made that may save your life—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID and Didn't Know It.
The CDC Chief Warned There May Be Some "Stumbling Blocks"
"Let me tell you what I think could happen and what other things might be stumbling blocks," said Walensky. "I am really constantly optimistic that our case numbers are going down. We had 32,000 new infections today. That's the lowest I've seen I think since I started—our seven day average is about 52,000, also much lower than it had been for some period of time. And our vaccination rate is actually making a huge amount of progress—over 40% of people over the age of 18 have received their second dose of vaccine or, a J&J vaccine." But, she said, "We need to do better." Keep reading to find out what dangers may lurk ahead.
Dr. Walensky Said COVID Cases are Still "Extraordinarily High" in Some USA Counties
"I'm not happy at 50,000 cases a day and 600 deaths a day. So I do think we really need to do better," said Walensky. "There are still 40% of counties in this country that have cases of a hundred per a hundred thousand—that's really extraordinarily high. What it's going to depend on is, really, how well we do as an—I wouldn't say, as CDC alone, as a country, in communicating to people to get vaccine. Because I think that is what will protect us. That is what will keep our cases down. So part of this is the behavior of the country and how good we are at unifying you coming together to reach every single individual, to try and send the message that vaccines are safe and effective and, and our case rates will then come down to them further."
Dr. Walensky Warned of the Variants—They Are an "Unknown"
"The other thing that really is an unknown is what happens with the variants—and what happens not just here, but in other countries," said Walensky. India, for example, is seeing a major outbreak fueled by a variant. "The WHO has said, no one is safe until everyone is safe. And I think that that's actually really true globally. I think we have great promise into being in a much better place in weeks and months from now with high vaccine rates, lower case rates. And then we really have to keep an eye on this unknown."
Dr. Walensky Said Get Vaccinated—And Don't Skip Your Second Dose, Here's Why
Regarding the variants, "for the mRNA vaccines and the J&J vaccine, for the variants that we know about here—the California variant, the New York area…we have every indication that our vaccines should work. It is among the reasons that we really have been so steadfast and ensuring two doses because we have seen in the lab that there's a diminution of effect in terms of neutralization. And so we want to make sure you have a really good immune response with the booster to make sure that you can overcome any one of these variants. But with that, we believe these vaccines should be working." So 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.