Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

CDC director warns of 'impending doom' as COVID-19 cases tick upwards

The United States has "so much reason for hope" when it comes to getting out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but "right now I'm scared," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during her Monday press briefing.

Going off script, Walensky said she wanted to "reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom." The sobering comments come amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the United States (some places are worse than others) after a steep dropoff in recent months. Walensky pointed to European countries like Germany, France, and Italy that have seen a spike in cases over the last few weeks, noting the U.S. trajectory "looks similar."

Still, Walensky suggested there's plenty of room for optimism, namely in the form of vaccines, which she said are being rolled out "so very fast." With that in mind, she said, "I'm speaking to you today ... not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer. I so badly want to be done. I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but not quite yet."