The U.S. has surpassed 30 million COVID cases. Follow public health guidelines and get vaccinated, the White House response team warns. 

With COVID hospitalizations and deaths per day now at a 10% increase from what the CDC data has shown previously, the White House COVID Response Team was candid in Monday morning’s briefing about the harsh reality of this data and reiterated the need to get vaccinated 

“I’m gonna lose the script, and I’m gonna reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” said CDC Director Dr. Walensky. 

The most recent seven-day average of COVID cases is now just under 60,000 cases per day, and hospital admissions are up to 4,800 from the previous 4,600 admissions per day. 

Based on current numbers, the trajectory of the pandemic for the United States is concerningly similar to that of certain European countries, which have been experiencing a worrying spike in cases. 

“Right now, I’m scared,” added Dr. Walensky, “I know what it’s like to stand in that patient room gowned, gloved, masked, shielded, and to be the last person to touch someone else’s loved one.” 

Ed O’Keefe of CBS News asked Dr. Walensky to explain why she feels “impending doom,” and she cites the rise of cases per day to about 70,000 to be a significant factor. Cases in prior weeks have been stagnating at about 40,000-50,000 per day. 

“I’m just worried that we’re going to see the surges,” said Dr. Walensky. 

Vaccines still critical in preventing severe disease

Dr. Fauci reemphasized the need to continue following public health guidelines as well as getting vaccinated. He cited data from a paper from the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed that about 1/3 people who contract COVID-19 never develop symptoms as “good news.” 

According to the same paper, of those who do develop symptoms, about 80% have mild to moderate symptoms. 

Dr. Fauci then introduced encouraging data that when looking at the five vaccines, they all provide “virtually 100% protection against hospitalizations and death.” 

Put simply, it is imperative that basic mitigation efforts are continued, vaccines are continued to be distributed, and that Americans continue to “hang in there,” as Dr. Fauci said. 

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