CDC pleads with Americans to ‘please limit travel’
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There was a stark warning from the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday, March 29 for Americans to “please limit travel” as COVID-19 cases begin to rise again.
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said travel is helping to spread the coronavirus. During a White House coronavirus briefing, she said, “I would just sort of reiterate the recommendations from [the] CDC, saying please limit travel to essential travel for the time being.”
Walensky warning of what she called “impending doom” this morning. “Right now I’m scared,” she said.
“We must act now, and I am worried that if we don’t take the right actions now, we will have another avoidable surge — just as we are seeing in Europe right now and just as we are so aggressively scaling up vaccination.”
It comes as President Joe Biden is asking state officials to reinstate mask mandates to deal with the pandemic. The president said because of what he called reckless behavior, the virus was spreading again.
“People are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing,” he said. “We are giving up hard-fought, hard-won gains.”
“.. this is not a time to lessen our efforts.. We could still see a setback in the vaccination program. And most importantly, if we let our guard down now we could see a virus getting worse, not better.”
The warnings come as the numbers of new coronavirus cases are rising again. According to the New York Times COVID-19 dashboard, the number of new cases has risen 15% in the past two weeks.
The rise in cases come amidst a surge in travel. The TSA has screened more than a million people every day since March 11. To give you an idea of how that compares to last year when travel ground to a halt, the agency on March 28, 2020 screened just 180,002 people.
The CDC is still recommending people not travel, even those who have been fully vaccinated. Interestingly, the New York Times reported today that a new CDC analysis of how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are working in the real world show they are highly effective at preventing transmission of COVID-19.
Related: Your guide to digital passports
Still, the CDC is urgently warning against anyone letting down their guard. Today, Dr. Walensky said, “I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but not quite yet.”
Featured photo by Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images.
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