BOSTON (UKTN) – In a briefing Monday, former Mass General Hospital chief and current CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky emotionally pleaded with Americans to continue to take safety precautions.
“I’m going to stop here, lose the script and reflect on how I feel right now of impending doom,” she said. “We have so much to hope for, so much promise and potential from where we are and so much to hope for. But right now I’m scared.
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President Biden doubled down on his appeal, begging states to reconsider their plans to reopen. “I reiterate my call to every governor, mayor and local leader to reinstate the mask mandate,” he explained. “Please, this is not politics.”
A worrying contributor to the national increase in cases comes from Michigan and across the Northeast, according to the CDC director. Data from the CDC shows New Jersey has the highest number of cases per capita over the past week, followed by Rhode Island, New York and Michigan. Dr Walenskey called the trend “very worrying”.
“I think this virus just keeps humiliating us,” said Dr Shira Doron, an epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center in WBZ. “I don’t think anyone can claim to know why the Northeast is doing bad right now, Michigan is doing terribly, and right now the rest of the country looks so good, even places that are really reopening in such a way. agressive.”
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Dr Doron says the spread of the COVID-19 variant could be to blame, but there isn’t enough data to say it definitively. She told WBZ it was surprising to see places like Texas with consistent case numbers despite the state’s decision to remove her mask mandate.
“If we don’t know what is causing it, how can we predict what will follow?” Said Dr. Doron. “It seems to me that we are at this real precipice where it could go both ways.”
Dr Doron explained that some reopening factors – like indoor weddings with dance floors – affect her, while others – like outdoor baseball games – show little or no evidence of COVID transmission. -19. She encouraged people to take advantage of the good weather and spend time in parks and beaches, while continuing to avoid gatherings indoors.
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While there is no obvious explanation for the rise in cases in the northeast, Dr Doron says she still thinks the area may get vaccinated after another outbreak. Currently, vaccine shipments are distributed according to population size. “That’s why I think at this point it’s really critical that the White House thinks about reallocating vaccine distribution to areas of the country that are seeing an increase in cases,” she said.