xi's moments
Home | Americas

US warns of COVID-19 surge, Biden to announce vaccination progress

Updated: 2021-03-30 03:02


WASHINGTON - US officials pleaded with Americans on Monday to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 amid an increase in cases across the country, as President Joe Biden planned to announce more Americans would be eligible to be vaccinated soon.

Biden will say on Monday that 90% of adults in the United States will be eligible to get a vaccine by April 19, a White House official said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with emotion in her voice, urged public officials and others to spread the word about the seriousness of the situation in an effort to prevent a fourth COVID-19 surge.

The United States surpassed 30 million total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and the seven-day average of new cases was slightly less than 60,000 per day, she said. That represents a 10% increase compared with the prior seven-day period. Hospitalizations also increased and deaths have started to rise.

"I'm going to lose the script and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom," Walensky told a briefing with reporters. "Right now I'm scared."

Officials cited states opening up their economies and loosening pandemic restrictions prematurely, along with an increase in travel, as reasons for the uptick.

Walensky said the trajectory of the pandemic in the United States looked similar to countries in Europe, such as Germany, Italy and France, which have experienced a recent spike in cases.

"We do not have the luxury of inaction. For ... the health of our country, we must work together now to prevent a fourth surge," she said.

Biden has set a goal of getting 200 million vaccine shots in people's arms in his first 100 days in office, and vaccinations are increasing across the country.

But some parts of the United States have done away with mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions, while Americans have gotten out to travel more for spring break and leisure, as pandemic fatigue takes hold.

"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."

The officials discouraged nonessential travel and encouraged continued mask-wearing and keeping socially distant to stop the spread of the virus and its dangerous variants.

Asked about Biden's own travel for business and personal reasons, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said he flew on Air Force One, which she noted was not the same as commercial travel.

Biden, who has been vaccinated, has been returning to his home state of Delaware or to the presidential retreat Camp David on weekends in addition to visiting other states for business trips during his first two months in office.

The White House said it expected the private sector to take the lead on the verification of COVID-19 vaccinations or so-called vaccine passports, and would not issue a federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.

The Biden administration was currently reviewing the issue and would make recommendations, Psaki told reporters, adding, "We believe it will be driven by the private sector."


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349