The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention struck a new tone of urgency on Thursday over the coronavirus pandemic, warning that the United States is "not out of the woods ”and find themselves again at“ another crucial point in this pandemic ”as theHighly infectious Delta variant tears up communities with low vaccination rates.
The warning from the director, Dr Rochelle Walensky, during a briefing by members of the White House Covid-19 Response Team, was a change from just a few weeks ago, when President Biden threw a big July 4th party on the South Lawn of the White House to declare independence from the virus.
This reflects growing concern among administration officials that the gains they seemed realized are being erased - and that the current increase in the number of cases will overwhelm health systems in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low and hospital admissions are high. Yet new cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain at a fraction of their previous devastating peakss. The vaccines remain effective against the worst consequences of Covid-19, including Delta variant .
Dr. Walensky pleaded with unvaccinated people to "please take the Delta variant seriously," adding, "This virus has no incentive to stop, and it remains to find the next vulnerable person to infect. Please consider getting the vaccine and take precautions until you do. "
White House officials also announced Thursday that They would spend $ 1.6 billion authorized by Congress as part of the US bailout on testing and other mitigation measures in "high-risk assembly settings," including homeless shelters and prisonss. And they said they would send $ 100 million to rural health clinics to support immunization education and outreach efforts in those communities, where immunization rates are generally low.
In the middle of questions whether the CDC might revise its mask guidelines , Dr Walensky said the current CDC guidelines remain unchanged, adding:" If you are vaccinated, you get exceptional vaccine protection, but you have the option of adding more years of protection. "