The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a stark warning after the country hit the unwanted milestone of 30 million Covid-19 cases on Sunday, amid a significant rise in new infections.
“I’m going to lose the script and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Monday.
“Right now I’m scared,” she told reporters during a news briefing, after earlier pledging to level with the American people, “even if it was not the news we wanted to hear.”
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Walensky’s emotional address came as the US saw its seven-day average of new Covid-19 infections increase 10% on the previous week, to almost 60,000 cases.
Over the last week, the rate of hospitalizations rose to more than 4,800 a day, while the death rate also increased, with the country’s total toll now at 546,000.
Health officials have blamed states opening up their economies and increased travel for the climbing case numbers.
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There are also now over 10,000 cases of the more transmissible ‘UK variant’ of Covid-19 across all states, apart from Oklahoma, according to recent CDC data.
During her address, Walensky urged the public to “hold on” and adhere to the public health restrictions, while urging Americans to get their Covid-19 vaccine in order to avert a “fourth surge” of infection.
The country’s vaccination program has so far seen more than 143 million doses administered.
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