“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 said.
Deaths on the rise, too, as states open
“I know what it’s like to see a hospital with a mobile morgue,” Walensky said, explaining the United States is seeing an increase not only in daily case counts, but also in deaths.
According to the Washington Post, new COVID-19 cases rose 8.8% in the past week, and new daily reported deaths rose by 10.5%. In total, the United States has 30,267,561 confirmed cases, and 549,364 deaths.
The United States reported 43,694 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, and 506 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker. As of March 26, there were 32,573 Americans hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the CDC.
Walensky explained that these jumps were likely fueled by states relaxing restrictions and abandoning mask mandates too soon, and by the heightened transmissibility of variants—including B117, the variant first identified in the United Kingdom—which now account for 26% of all COVID-19 cases sequenced in the United States.
Vaccinating 2.7 million a day
But both Walensky and Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical adviser to President Biden, said that another surge was not inevitable.
“We can win this by hanging in there a bit longer,” said Fauci.