At the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Monday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky expressed concern about a leveling off of the decline in weekly coronavirus cases.
ROCHELLE WALENSKY: I remain deeply concerned about a potential shift in the trajectory of the pandemic. The latest CDC data continue to suggest that recent declines in cases have leveled off at a very high number. The most recent seven-day average of cases, approximately 67,200, represents an increase of a little over 2% compared to the prior seven days. Similarly, the most recent seven-day average of deaths has also increased more than 2% from the previous seven days to nearly 2,000 deaths per day.
These data are evidence that our recent declines appear to be stalling, stalling at over 70,000 cases a day. With these new statistics, I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19. I understand the temptation to do this. 70,000 cases a day seems good compared to where we were just a few months ago. But we cannot be resigned to 70,000 cases a day, 2,000 daily deaths.
Please hear me clearly-- at this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress. Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, not when we are so close.
We have the ability to stop a potential fourth surge of cases in this country. Please stay strong in your conviction. Continue wearing your well-fitted mask and taking the other public health prevention actions that we know work.