During a virtual White House briefing on coronavirus Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), made a public declaration that she is fearful of the consequences of the new upturn in COVID-19 cases.
“Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth, and I have to hope and trust you will listen. I’m going to pause here. I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope. But right now, I’m scared.”
Walensky’s language is remarkable. She is effectively admitting that previous statements, like those two weeks ago when the CDC changed its guideline for social distancing in schools from six feet to three feet, were instances when she did NOT “share the truth.”
She said she was going to “lose the script”—in other words, discard the talking points drawn up by the spin doctors for the Biden White House, who have been preaching that the United States is nearing completion of the fight against coronavirus, and that by May, or June, or at the latest July 4, things will be “back to normal.”
One has to ask: What is so terrible in the facts and figures being collected by the CDC that it would bring the agency’s director to tears at a public press briefing at the White House? What does she know that the Biden administration is not telling the American people?
As one reader tweeted to Bloomberg News in response to Walensky’s warning of impending doom, “Then why the hell did they change the recommendations for classroom spacing? We are now getting pressured to return to school at three feet spacing while watching cases rise in NYC.” This commenter, obviously a New York City school teacher, speaks for millions.
Since Joe Biden was sworn into office, every action taken by the CDC has been in the service of an effort to downplay mitigation efforts and present the vaccination campaign as the exit strategy from the pandemic. They have played fast and loose with flawed science to lull the public into a false sense of reassurance, and all the while, the number of variants throughout the country was rising at an alarming rate.
Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have repeatedly warned of another surge of infections, comparing them to a category five hurricane heading to the shore. They implored state and federal leaders not to lift restrictions and mitigation measures nor reopen schools. At every turn, the Biden administration doubled down on his vaccine initiative and praised leaders of teachers’ unions in their assistance with opposing intransigent rank-and-file teachers who understood the dangers posed by full-scale reopening of schools.
It is worth recalling Dr. Michael Osterholm’s warnings at the end of January. During an interview on “Meet the Press,” he noted, “The surge that is likely to occur with this new variant from England is going to happen in the next six to 14 weeks. If we see that happen, we are going to see something that we have not seen yet in this country. Imagine that you and I are sitting on a beach with blue skies, and it’s 70 degrees. But I see a category five hurricane or higher 450 miles offshore. Telling people to evacuate on that nice blue-sky day is going to be hard. But I can also tell you that hurricane is coming.”
Dr. Walensky’s outburst comes nine weeks after Dr. Osterholm’s warning (a warning which led to his effective exclusion from the national media).
Over the last two weeks, the seven-day moving average of coronavirus cases has ticked up again, rising 15 percent to an average of over 63,000 cases per day. The growing epicenter of the pandemic is expanding to encompass the northeast of the country. New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire are seeing rapid growth in new cases.
But it is not just the northeast. Florida also sees a rise in new cases as their infection curves begin to turn up again. And most worrisome, half of Florida’s new cases subjected to genetic analysis are of the new, more infectious and lethal variants.
Many government officials have also been concerned that the seven-day average across the country regarding daily deaths and COVID-19 hospitalizations have plateaued again at higher levels than previous lows, and are starting to turn up. With the rise in cases, these grim numbers begin to follow in a few short weeks. For the Northeast region, public health officials attribute the increase to the spread of the B.1.526 (New York strain) and B.1.1.7 (UK strain) variants.
At present, the CDC has reported they have detected 10,579 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant across the entire country. Florida currently has had 2,274 cases detected, while Michigan has seen 1,237 cases, a sharp rise from just one week ago. There has also been a considerable rise in the B.1.351 (South African) variant and the P.1 (Brazilian) variant. The P.1 variant, which is far more transmissible and known to cause reinfections in 25 to 63 percent of previously infected people, is increasing in Florida and Massachusetts.
There have been close to 31 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 562,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus. When Joe Biden was elected on November 3, there had been under 10 million cases of COVID-19, and the death toll stood at 240,000.
On January 20, 2021, when he was sworn into office, the number of cases had risen to just over 25 million. The death toll on inauguration day stood at 423,000. In the span of just over two months, another 130,000 people have succumbed to the infection.
Yet, with lifesaving treatments in hand, instead of minimizing contacts until the entire population can be vaccinated, which would mean locking down schools and workplaces, the country has been thrown open as never before during the COVID-19 pandemic, beyond even Trump’s worst efforts.
The success of the vaccines only underscores the criminal loss of life going forward. A CNN interview program Sunday night confirmed that the 550,000 lives already lost to coronavirus were a crime against the American people, for which Trump first and now Biden are responsible.
Going forward, every life lost to coronavirus is a life taken unnecessarily, with the means to curb and contain the disease and ultimately eradicate it already in hand. Perhaps that is why Dr. Walensky seems to be experiencing the symptoms of a nervous breakdown. She begins to recognize that her previous actions—and the actions she will be called on to take going forward—implicate her in this slaughter.
Notably, President Biden did not denounce Dr. Walensky when he appeared before television cameras three hours later. He adopted a pose of sympathy and even support, portraying her remarks merely as an urgent call on states and individuals not to abandon the regimen of masks, hand washing and social distancing.
In urging states, cities and individuals to “stay the course,” Biden made no reference to his own administration’s campaign to throw open all public schools to in-person classes by April 29, his 100th day in office, a pledge that will be far more devastating to public health, turning the schools into new centers of infection, than any action by a governor or mayor.
Biden continued to suggest that the struggle against coronavirus was nearing completion. He did not give the slightest hint that a new upsurge of disease and death is about to ravage the American population and further stain his presidency, like Trump’s, in blood.