Public health officials are warning that the decline in daily Coronavirus cases have begun to stall.
Data indicates that the recent decline in COVID-19 cases may have begun to level off, according to The New York Times. In response, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief medical adviser for the Coronavirus, have issued the same dire message to states: Do not ease up on pandemic restrictions.
"Things are tenuous," Dr. Walensky said at a recent briefing. "Now is not the time to relax restrictions."
Dr. Fauci shared the sentiment saying that we need "to be realistic."
"So we have to carefully look at what happens over the next week or so with those numbers before you start making the understandable need to relax on certain restrictions," he said.
Despite this, governors across the country are considering lifting many key pandemic measures. For example, Gov. Greg Abbot of Texas is weighing whether or not to lift the statewide mask mandate. Mississippi’s Gov. Tate Reeves is considering a similar lift of the mask mandate for folks who have been vaccinated.
Meanwhile in the nation's meme state, Republicans have gathered en masse in Florida for the Conservative Political Action Committee's conference to take part in activities such as booing officials who suggested they wear a mask indoors.
This all comes at the heels of President Biden’s recent trip to a federal mass vaccination site in Houston, which preceded the Food and Drug Administration's emergency authorization of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. That vaccine is slated to greatly assist in the nation's current vaccine shortage. But, officials warn, that doesn’t mean the threat of the pandemic has lessened.
“We at the CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory,” Dr. Walensky said. “I want to be clear: Cases, hospital admissions, and deaths — all remain very high and the recent shift in the pandemic must be taken extremely seriously.”
So while there are some reasons to be optimistic about the overall trajectory of the virus, we need to keep in mind the reality of the situation: The pandemic's still here, still deadly, and we’re definitely not out of it yet.
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READ MORE: Federal Scientists Plead for Pandemic Controls as Infection Declines Stall [The New York Times]
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