There’s an urgent new warning about the coronavirus from the CDC director, including fears of "Impending doom”. But a leading local expert points to the 95 million Americans who have now received at least one vaccine dose and says, at least in states like California, there will be no surge.
“I'm going to pause here. I'm going to lose the script,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “And I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.”
With COVID-19 cases rising in 31 states, and infections and hospital admissions up as well, the emotionally raw moment from the CDC director continued, “we have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope, but right now I'm scared."
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Scared that the increases in COVID-19 we’re seeing will lead to another surge and many more deaths if restrictions are lifted too soon and too suddenly.
“What I see in the Bay Area is there’s nothing but good for the Bay Area,” said UCSF Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Monica Gandhi. “I really mean that.”
Gandhi said states that are slow to lift restrictions, and aggressive with vaccinations will not see a surge.
“California has done great,” she said. “We are keeping some restrictions, we are not opening too fast, we're keeping our hospitalizations and cases low and we’re rolling out vaccines fast.”
Gandhi says the efficacy of the vaccines is astonishing and Monday’s promise of increased supply is another reason for optimism.”
“At least 90% of all adults in this country will be eligible to be vaccinated by April the 19, just three weeks from now, because we have the vaccines,” said President Joe Biden.
The wild card in all this are the variants.
“As long as there is transmission, like 166% in Michigan in the last two weeks, we’re going to get mutations and that leads to variance we have not described as yet,” said UCSF Epidemiologist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.
As far as Walensky's emotionally charged message that she’s scared, “I understand her impulse,” said Chin-Hong. “She was trying to make sure everybody stays cautious, wears masks and keeps distance and I understand that but I think that word is not reassuring to the American public. We will have so much progress with a vaccine.”