US Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Korta, a medical technician with the Joint Task Force Steelhead Vaccination Mobile Team, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a resident of Orcas Island, March 2, 2021, Orcas Island, Washington.
Senior Airman Mckenzie Airhart | US Air National Guard
WASHINGTON – National Guard leaders on Thursday called on Americans to continue to adhere to Covid-19 mitigation measures as the military rushes to vaccinate the population.
“We are delighted to follow the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] science that tells us what’s smart about continuing to protect the civilians around us, ”U.S. Air Force Col. Russell Kohl, commander of the 131st Missouri National Guard Medical Group, told UKTN when asked if there were any concerns of more relaxing advice states.
“You will always see us lagging behind socially, you will always see us masked and you will see us trying to encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated because I think it’s really a multi-step process for us to get through this pandemic. and going back to any sort of normalcy, to the extent that there will be such a thing as normal as opposed to a new normal, ”Kohl added.
Kohl’s comments came after California – the most populous state in the country – announced this week that it would lift most Covid-related restrictions by June 15. Last month, many states also relaxed restrictions to varying degrees.
“We are the instruments of national power, not the decision makers, and what elected leaders do at the national and local and state levels is their decision,” said the US Army Brigadier. Gen. Adam Flasch, director of the Maryland National Guard Joint Chiefs of Staff and dual-status commander for Title 10 active-duty troops.
“But there is good, solid science behind masks, social distancing, and hand washing as a way to deny the virus or vector until we can be vaccinated,” Flasch added.
The National Guard has mobilized 2,250 vaccinators at more than 1,000 sites working to deliver coronavirus vaccines to Americans. The service said earlier this week that it had taken a significant step forward by administering 6 million shots to the public.
Federal health officials recently warned that the United States is still in a battle against the coronavirus, even as vaccine production increases and record doses of vaccine are administered.
White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci warned on Monday that Americans should still follow public health measures as the warmer summer months approach.
“You may remember a little over a year ago, when we were looking for summer to save ourselves from surges. It was, in fact, the opposite,” Fauci said during a briefing on coronaviruses.
“We have seen substantial surges this summer. I don’t think we should even think of relying on the weather to get us out of whatever we are right now,” he added.