Daily US Times: When the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, ditched her prepared remarks this week to voice a feeling of “impending doom” about rising coronavirus infections, she flipped the script on weeks of Biden administration’s hopeful news in the US’ fight against the pandemic.
While she and other officials of Biden administration have for weeks urged Americans not to let their guard down against the virus, rising Covid-19 vaccination rates spurred a wave of hope and optimism the long, national nightmare was reaching its end.
This week, that shifted as a steady increase in cases — eerily reminiscent of the last three surges, worrying administration officials who fear a backslide.
Walensky’s dramatic warning during Monday’s White House coronavirus briefing, while fighting back tears, and her plea to “hold on a little while longer” marked an inflection point in the narrative of the coronavirus pandemic, jolting the US to the reality that even the current pace of nearly three million vaccination per day may not be enough to prevent a final surge if infections among the majority of Americans who are not yet vaccinated.
According to people familiar with the matter, Dr Walensky’s message initially caught some of the Biden administration’s officials off guard, and prompted mild annoyance among some of Biden’s advisers.
Others praised the CDC director publicly. In either case, her words reflected an acute sense within the Biden administration that the Covid-19 surge they had been preparing for was finally on the horizon.