CDC director has feeling of 'impending doom' amid new spike

Impending Doom: US Health Body Warns Of New Surge As Covid Cases Rise

People are eager to return to their pre-pandemic lives this spring, but Walensky said she's still "deeply concerned" about another surge. "It's shown its ability to keep resurging, and that's just the reality we face". "So that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends".

As she had done in previous briefings, Walensky cautioned that the U.S.'s pandemic trajectory "looks similar" to that of European countries a few weeks earlier, including Germany, Italy, and France - countries now seeing "a consistent and worrying spike in cases", she said. Hospitalizations also increased and deaths have started to rise.

The CDC is continuing to scale up its surveillance of variants, Walensky said Friday, and is watching this specific variant "very closely".

Walensky on Monday explained that the trajectory of the virus in the country looks similar to the way it has progressed in other European countries like Germany, Italy, and France, which have generally trended ahead of the U.S. in COVID-19 metrics.

The CDC has previously said the B.1.1.7 variant will likely become dominant in the United States by the end of March or early April.

Slavitt reiterated that the federal government does not see its role is to create such a passport or hold that data: "We view this as something that the private sector is doing and will do", he said, following requirements set by the federal government.

She added that while having "three historic, scientific breakthrough" vaccines was a cause for hope, not enough of the population had yet been covered to avoid a fourth surge unless people held fast to mitigation measures.

The officials discouraged non-essential travel and encouraged measures such as mask-wearing and keeping socially distant to stop the spread of the virus and its unsafe variants.

"There are a couple key principles that we are working from". But during a Monday morning briefing of the White House COVID-19 response team, she gave her most alarming warning to date. And deaths, which tend to lag cases and hospitalizations, have also begun to rise: increasing almost 3%, to a seven-day average of about 1,000 per day.

And those numbers will likely continue rapidly climbing as states continue to expand vaccine eligibility and allow more residents to get a shot. Quick vaccination would still depend on supply as well as overcoming some people's hesitancy about the shots.

That challenge could arise over the next four to six weeks, Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, told CNN last week.

To combat disinformation and hesitancy, state leaders across the country have announced partnerships with local organizations and churches and have visited vaccination sites to get the message across: the vaccines are the way out.

She sympathized, she said, with those "wanting to be done" with the pandemic. "Vaccines in arms is how we beat this thing".

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