Rochelle Walensky, in an emotional plea Monday, said she feels a sense of "impeding doom" about another surge in COVID-19 cases as infections increased 10%. "But right now, I'm scared", Walensky said.
The cause of her concern?
Hospitalizations are up, too: about 4,800 admissions per day over the last week, up from an average 4,600 per day in the previous seven-day period. "We have so much to look forward to".
Walensky and White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said they would meet with governors Tuesday to discuss the increased supply in vaccines. She asked elected officials, faith leader and other influencers for help.
And she said with the vaccination effort underway the end of the pandemic is within reach, but she said until more Americans are vaccinated everyone has to continue wearing masks, refrain from nonessential travel, and take steps to prevent more people from becoming sick. "I so badly want to be done". We are just nearly there, but not quite yet. Walensky appealed to Americans, "Just please hold on a little while longer".
"Hang in there", said infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci about maintaining protective measures. "It will be a race between the vaccine and what's going on with the dynamics of the outbreak, and we can win this by just hanging in there a bit longer".
Walensky pointed to an uptick in travel and loosening virus restrictions for the increase in cases.
Hospitalisations also increased and deaths started to rise.
In a reflection of the national trend, MA is now seeing an uptick in cases, with the average number of new infections at its highest since mid-February. On Sunday, that number stretched higher still: 3.28 million vaccinations.
Biden said 75 percent of those Americans over 65 have received at least one shot. Among all US adults, 36% have received at least one dose.
So far roughly 15.1% of the United States population is fully vaccinated - meaning not enough Americans are yet protected to suppress the spread of the virus through herd immunity.
Vaccine manufacturers are on track to meet their targets, Slavitt said, and Johnson & Johnson will soon deliver 11 million doses. Together the sites will be capable of administering 6,000 shots a day.
The study is ongoing, and scientists will look to sequence the virus in cases where it was able to infect people despite vaccination, to better understand why this happens in some cases.
The variant is more contagious and may likely be associated with more severe disease, Fauci has previously said.
An interagency process is now under way with requirements for equitable and free access, data privacy and security, and availability in multiple languages.
The administration, instead, is developing guidelines for such passports, touching on privacy, accuracy and equity, but the White House has not said when those guidelines will be ready.