Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Rochelle Walensky said she feels a sense of “impending doom” as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations tick back up, and pleaded with the public to continue masking up until a majority of the population is vaccinated, NBC News reported.
“I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” an emotional Walensky said at a Monday press conference. “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. I know what it’s like, as a physician, to stand in that patient room gowned, gloved, masked, shielded, and to be the last person to touch someone else’s loved ones, because their loved ones couldn’t be there.”
The recent increase in COVID infections comes as roughly 2.5 million Americans a day are being inoculated against the coronavirus. Walensky pointed to the emergence of more contagious variants, more people traveling, and governors reopening their states too quickly.
“We are not powerless,” said Walensky. “We can change this trajectory of the pandemic, but it will take all of us recommitting to following the public health prevention strategies consistently, while we work to get the American public vaccinated.”