CDC’s Walensky warns that COVID-19 cases could still rise if Americans don’t stay vigilant

During the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned that failure to continue mitigation efforts against the coronavirus could still lead to more cases.

Video Transcript

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: In some parts of the country, the weather has started to warm up. And with the clocks change this weekend, our days have seen a little bit more sunshine. And with the coming warmer weather, I know it's tempting to want to relax and to let our guard down, particularly after a hard winter that sadly saw the highest level of cases and deaths during the pandemic so far.

This past Friday, we saw more travelers pass through our airports-- over 1.3 million. This is the most travelers that we've had in a single day since last March before the WHO declared the global pandemic. We have seen footage of people enjoying spring break festivities maskless. This is all in the context of still 50,000 cases per day.

Equally concerning are the resurgences we are now seeing in some European countries-- countries that have had strikingly similar trends in surges during the pandemic as the United States. Each of these countries has had nadirs like we are having now. And each took an upward trend after they disregarded known mitigation strategies. They simply took their eye off the ball.

I'm pleading with you for the sake of our nation's health. These should be warning signs for all of us. Cases climbed last spring. They climbed again in the summer. They will climb now if we stop taking precautions when we continue to get more and more people vaccinated.

Please follow our recommended public health prevention precautions. And be ready to get your vaccine when it is available to you. We are just starting to turn the corner. The data are moving in the right direction. But where this goes is dependent on whether we all do what must be done to protect ourselves and others.