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CDC director ‘actually frightened’ about states rolling back Covid safety measures as U.S. cases appear to plateau


Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentioned Monday that she is “really worried” about some states rolling back public well being measures meant to include the coronavirus pandemic as U.S. cases appear to be leveling off at a “very high number.”

The declines in Covid-19 cases seen since early January now appear to be stalling at round 70,000 new cases per day, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky mentioned throughout a White House information briefing. “With these statistics, I am really worried about more states rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19.”

“Seventy thousand cases a day seems good compared to where we were just a few months ago,” she mentioned. “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained.”

The U.S. is recording at the very least 67,300 new Covid-19 cases every day, based mostly on a seven-day common calculated by CNBC utilizing Johns Hopkins University information. The U.S. peaked at shut to 250,000 cases per day in early January following the winter holidays.

Top U.S. well being officers, together with Walensky and White House Chief Medical Advisory Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned in current weeks that the rise of extra contagious variants may reverse the present downward trajectory in infections within the U.S. and delay the nation’s restoration from the pandemic.

As of Sunday, the CDC has recognized 2,400 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first recognized within the U.Ok. The company has recognized 53 cases of the B.1.351 pressure from South Africa as nicely as 10 cases of P.1, a variant first recognized in Brazil.

Fauci mentioned Monday that U.S. well being officers are additionally intently monitoring one other variant in New York that carries mutations that assist it evade the physique’s pure immune response.

Officials say viruses can’t mutate if they can’t infect hosts and replicate. They are additionally pushing Americans to get vaccinated as rapidly as doable earlier than doubtlessly new and much more harmful variants proceed to take maintain.

Walensky mentioned Monday that vaccinations will assist the U.S. get out of the pandemic, touting that the Food and Drug Administration authorized Johnson & Johnson‘s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, making it the third shot to be accredited for distribution within the U.S. and the one vaccine that requires only one dose. Walensky signed off on the vaccine on Sunday.

The J&J vaccine is a “much needed addition to our toolbox,” she mentioned, including the authorization will make it doable for extra folks to get vaccinated.



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