President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director are sounding the alarm on rising coronavirus cases across the country, urging people to not let their guard down and “just hold on a little longer” amid the vaccine rollout.
Virus case counts in the past week spiked by 10 percent across the country, and cases in Massachusetts have surged by more than 40 percent since the start of March. More contagious variants have been circulating as states ease restrictions and unvaccinated people gather without wearing masks.
“I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing, later adding, “Right now I’m scared.”
As virus cases jump, COVID hospitalizations and deaths are also now starting to rise.
A day later, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was joined by Walenskyat the Boston vaccination site.
Walensky, a former Massachusetts General Hospital infectious disease specialist, would not say whether she thought Baker moved too quickly this month to reopen parts of the economy, encouraging larger gatherings of people at weddings and in places like theaters and ballparks.
“I’m not going to comment on individual states. What I will say is I’m really pleased to see everybody here is masked. Everybody outside is masked and people are doing their part to try to contain the virus here in Massachusetts,” Walensky said.
Walensky had a call with governors on Tuesday morning, and she said she urged those who had dropped their mask mandates to restore them. The public mask-wearing mandate remains in place in Massachusetts.