Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

The Biden administration is reportedly trying hard not to say the U.S. is experiencing another coronavirus 'surge'

Officials inside the White House and federal health agencies haven't been able to forge a consensus about whether the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the United States is worth panicking about, Politico reports.

Three senior administration officials told Politico the Biden administration is working hard to not call the increase a "surge" because they want to instill confidence in the national vaccine drive, which has been picking up steam. And there is optimism that vaccinations are indeed preventing a much more severe spike — President Biden's chief science officer, David Kessler, said his "educated guess is without vaccines, we would be in a surge right now."

But that doesn't mean the trajectory isn't worrying. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said she's experiencing a feeling of "impending doom" on Tuesday, after all.

For his part, Kessler settled on a middle ground. "You're seeing a slight increase in cases, but you're certainly not seeing a continued drop in cases," he told Politico. "That's the issue. You're plateauing at a high level of crisis." Read more at Politico.