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CDC chief warns U.S. headed for ‘impending doom’ as Covid cases rise again: ‘Right now I’m scared’

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during a hearing, with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, on the Covid-19 response, on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Pool | Getty Images

The U.S. is facing “impending doom” as daily Covid-19 cases begin to rebound once again, threatening to send more people to the hospital even as vaccinations accelerate nationwide, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.

“When I first started at CDC about two months ago I made a promise to you: I would tell you the truth even if it was not the news we wanted to hear. Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth and I have to hope and trust you will listen,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing.

“I’m going to pause here, I’m going to 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.”

The U.S. is recording a weekly average of 63,239 new Covid-19 cases per day, a 16% increase compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Daily cases are now growing by at least 5% in 30 states and D.C.

Walensky urged Americans to “just hold on a little longer” and to get vaccinated against the virus once it’s their turn. When cases rise as they have over the last week or so, Walensky said they often “surge and surge big” shortly thereafter.

“I’m speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director and not only 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,” Walensky said.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.

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