Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky went off script at a briefing Monday and made an emotional plea to Americans on Monday not to let up on public health measures in order to prevent a fourth surge.
What they're saying: “I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," Walensky said, appearing to hold back tears. "We do not have the luxury of inaction. For the health of our country, we must work together now to prevent a fourth surge."
- "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 one because their loved one couldn't be there," she continued.
- “I’m speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer. 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."
The big picture: Coronavirus cases are rapidly rising in places including Michigan, New York, New Jersey and other Northeastern states, partially a result of variants of the virus becoming more widespread, experts say.
- The 7-day daily average of new cases increased 10.6% from the previous week to 59,773, while 7-day daily average of deaths increased 2.6% to 968.
- Even though a remarkable 72% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, millions of Americans — particularly younger Americans with underlying conditions — remain vulnerable.