Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on March 18, 2021.

Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on March 18, 2021. (Photo: Susan Walsh/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

CDC Director Warns of 'Impending Doom' as Covid Cases Rise Across US

"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."

Jake Johnson

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a pandemic task force briefing Monday that she feels a sense of "impending doom" as she watches Covid-19 cases rise across the country in the wake of state leaders' premature moves to relax or completely lift coronavirus-related restrictions.

"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," said Walensky, who warned that the current case trajectory threatens to derail encouraging progress in the ongoing vaccine rollout. While vaccinations are trending in the right direction, just 20% of the adult population of the U.S. is fully inoculated, according to CDC figures.

"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," Walensky added, an emotional plea that came as states across the nation—from Arizona to Iowa to Montana—rush ahead with reopening plans despite dire warnings from public health officials.

Watch:

Walensky's remarks came as new data from Johns Hopkins University showed that U.S. is currently averaging more than 63,000 new coronavirus cases each day, up 16% from a week ago. Around 970 people are dying from the virus each day as the nation closes in on 550,000 total deaths, according to the data.

In an interview on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, attributed the rising infection numbers to "things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you've seen."

During Monday's briefing, Fauci said that "we can win this by just hanging in there a bit longer," echoing Walensky's call for continued mask wearing and social distancing.

"Hang in there, as Dr. Walensky said," Fauci added. "We really need to hold on to the public health measures as we get more and more people—from two to three-plus million people—vaccinated every day."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Earth's Atmospheric CO2 Hasn't Been This High In Millions of Years

"Either we drive the fossil fuel industry into extinction—or the human race."

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Shameful Distinction': US Ranked World's Biggest Perpetrator of Financial Secrecy

"That isn't a prize the U.S. wants to claim for itself," said one critic.

Jake Johnson ·


Progressives Vow to Fight as DeSantis Signs Bill Banning Protests at Florida Homes

"H.B. 1571 builds on the unconstitutional foundations of the anti-protest bill last year," said one activist, "and only reaffirms our will to make sure our voices are heard in order to create a brighter future for the people of our state."

Brett Wilkins ·


AIPAC's Super PAC Spends Millions to Defeat Summer Lee, Other Progressives

Groups tied to the powerful anti-Palestinian rights lobby have run ads attacking Lee in Pennsylvania and former Bernie Sanders organizer Nida Allam in North Carolina.

Julia Conley ·


Kremlin Says Russia Now Considers US, European Allies 'Hostile States'

"What they are doing is war," declared Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo