U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Rochelle Walensky became emotional during the White House COVID-19 briefing on Monday, saying she felt “impending doom” as case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise in the country and urged Americans to “hold on a little longer” in abiding by safety measures.
“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,” she said.
Walensky said the country saw the number of total confirmed cases surpassed 30 million on Sunday and the seven-day average of new cases was slightly less than 60,000 cases per day. Hospitalizations were a seven-day average of 4,800 admissions per day, up from 4,600 the previous seven-day period, and deaths of approximately 1,000 deaths per day, a three per cent increase from the previous seven-day average.
The CDC director, however, also announced a new study led by the agency being published that assessed real-world effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with nearly 4,000 health-care personnel, emergency responders and essential workers in six states from mid-December to mid-March studied. It found the risk of infection was reduced by 90 per cent after receiving two doses, and people were getting a protective effect, with risk of infection decreased by 80 per cent after two weeks after the first dose.