CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a new interview that she warned — and terrified — Americans of “impending doom” amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases because she “just can’t face another surge.”
“I`m watching the cases tick up. I`m watching us have increased numbers of hyper-transmissible variants. I`m watching our travel numbers tick up, and the sense is, I have seen what it looks like to anticipate the oncoming surge,” Walensky, 51, said Monday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show.
Walensky went off-script earlier in the day during the White House coronavirus press briefing to admit that she feared another wave of cases.
She told Maddow that she would “really hate” to have another spike in cases just as more people are becoming vaccinated against the virus.
“You know, we`re still losing people at 1,000 deaths a day. And so I just can`t face another surge when there`s so much optimism right at our fingertips,” she said.
During the press briefing Monday, Walensky had admitted that she was “scared” with the number of infections in the country ticking back up again.
“I’m gonna lose the script and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Walensky said.
“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 that she saw similarities with many European countries, which have issued lockdowns amid rising cases.
“The trajectory of the pandemic in the United States looks similar to many other countries in Europe, including Germany, Italy, and France looked like just a few weeks ago and since that time those countries have experienced a consistent and worrying spike in cases,” she said.
Walkenksy urged Americans to “hold on a little longer” until they can get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“We are not powerless. 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,” she said.