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CDC Chief Shares Message of "Impending Doom" As COVID Cases Surge 

"Right now I am scared,” she admits.

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is very concerned. During Monday's White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing, the CDC chief got brutally honest, going off the script and admitting she had a feeling of "impending doom" in terms of the future of the pandemic. Read on to hear her warning—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Signs Your Illness is Actually Coronavirus in Disguise.


Infections, Hospitalizations, and Deaths Are Increasing

Female and male doctors wearing masks and uniforms are visiting to check the symptoms of middle-aged female patients lying in bed.

Dr. Walensky started off by reading the latest COVID-19 statistics. "We in the United States surpassed 30 million cases of COVID-19 CDC," she said, noting that the new seven day average of new cases increased by 10 percent over the last to about 60,000 per day. "Hospitalizations have also increased," she added, pointing out that deaths "which typically lag behind cases and hospitalizations have now started to rise" increasing nearly 3% to a seven day average of approximately 1000 deaths per day. 


Dr. Walensky's Truth: "Impending Doom"

sad young female doctor or nurse wearing face protective mask for protection

"When I first started at CDC, about two months ago, I made a promise to you. I would tell you the truth, even if it was not the news we wanted to hear," she said. "Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth and I have to hope and trust, you will listen."

"I'm going to pause here. I'm going to lose the script. And I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," she continued. "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 am scared." 


"I Know What It Is Like"

Rochelle Walensky

Walensky went on to detail what medical professionals like herself have been dealing with since the start of the pandemic. "I know what it's like as a physician to stand in that patient room, gowned, masked, shielded, and to be the last person to touch someone else's loved one because their loved one couldn't be there. I know what it's like when you're the physician, when you're the healthcare provider, and you're worried that you don't have the resources to take care of the patients in front of you. I know that feeling of nausea when you read the crisis standards of care, and you wonder whether they're going to be enough ventilators to go around and who's going to make that choice. And I know what it's like to pull up to your hospital every day and see the extra morgue sitting outside," she said.


Just "Hold On a Little While Longer"

African American man in antiviral mask gesturing thumb up during coronavirus vaccination, approving of covid-19 immunization

She also pointed out that the end is near. "We have come such a long way, three historic scientific breakthrough vaccines," she pointed out. "So 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. I so badly want to be done. I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but not quite yet. And so I'm asking you to just hold on a little longer to get vaccinated when you can so that all of those people that we all want will still be here."


A Surge Is Happening 

Ambulance and firefighter trucks block the street in downtown

She also pointed out that historically, the United State's trajectory follows that of European countries, including Germany, Italy, and France, who are currently experiencing "a consistent and worrying spike in cases." However, we have the power to turn things around, she points out. "We are not powerless. We can change this trajectory of a pandemic. But it will take all of us recommitting to following the public health prevention strategies consistently," she said. 

"While we work to get the American public vaccinated, I'm calling on our elected officials, our faith-based communities, our civic leaders, and our other influencers in communities across the nation. And I'm calling on every single one of you to sound the alarm, to carry these messages into your community and your spheres of influence. We do not have the luxury of inaction for the health of our country. We must work together now to prevent a fourth surge."


Do Your Part in Ending the Pandemic 

Woman putting on a protective mask

So follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, 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.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
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