President Biden on Monday echoed CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s recurring sense of an “impending doom” as he urged governors and mayors to maintain or reinstate mask-wearing mandates amid a 10% increase of COVID-19 infections over the past week compared to the previous week.
Biden decried people letting up on mitigation efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, saying that the public is “giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains” in the pandemic.
While urging the public against letting its guard down, Biden said that states should pause reopening efforts. The President urged governors, mayors, local officials and businesses to reinstate the “patriotic duty” of mask-wearing in order to combat the infectious disease.
As CDC Director Walensky warns of "impending doom," President Biden says “I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate. Please, this is not politics.” pic.twitter.com/yFMVhSDLua
— The Recount (@therecount) March 29, 2021
Biden’s remarks were issued a few hours after Walensky made an emotional plea earlier Monday during a virtual White House health briefing. Walensky cited her experience in treating COVID-19 patients and being the last person by their side before their death in describing the “impending doom” she feels as some states ease public health measures such as mask mandates.
“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope,” Walensky said. “But right now, I’m scared.”
NEW: CDC Director Walensky on rising US coronavirus cases and hospitalizations:
"Right now, I'm scared … I so badly want to be done, I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but not quite yet, and so I'm asking you to just hold on a little longer." pic.twitter.com/hYnjOSmXqK
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 29, 2021
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy also echoed Walensky’s impassioned warning over the country’s current trajectory of COVID-19 infection rates and deaths, during an interview on CNN later Monday.
After acknowledging the distribution of millions of vaccinations as well as a decline from the country’s “all-time high” of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, Murthy warned that the country is far from “coming down all the way.”
“In fact, we have settled at a very high level of daily deaths. Nearly 1000,” Murthy said. “And now we’re starting to see cases go up again and starting to see hospital admissions go up again.”
Murthy added his concerns about another potential surge of infection rates.
“There is a light that is getting bigger and bigger at the end of this tunnel, but we are still in that tunnel,” Murthy said.
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy tells CNN's @WolfBlitzer that he's concerned with a rise in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions.
"This is deeply concerning, because every time we've seen it in the past, it's led to another surge and that's what we're worried about." pic.twitter.com/iZs88xZN4N
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) March 29, 2021