The CDC Director Just Got Choked Up Describing COVID's "Impending Doom"

The top infectious disease official got emotional while pleading with the public to stay the course.

After weeks of declining COVID cases and a brief plateau period that came with warnings from top health officials of a potential tragic turn, the most recent data now shows new COVID cases up 16 percent nationwide compared to just one week ago, CNBC reports. The news even prompted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky, MD, to become emotional during a live briefing while issuing a warning of the "impending doom" of COVID in the coming weeks. Read on to see why she believes the situation is so dire, and for more evidence that cases will spike again, check out Dr. Fauci Says This Is the Sign That We'll Have Another COVID Surge.

The CDC director became emotional when warning of COVID's "impending doom."

Nurse putting oxygen mask to patient during surgery - healthcare and medicine concepts

During a White House COVID-19 response team press briefing on March 29, Walensky acknowledged the increase in cases across the U.S. She then took a moment to speak directly to any American listening: "When I first started at CDC about two months ago, I made a promise to you: I would tell you the truth even if it was not the news we wanted to hear. 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," she said as she became visibly choked up. "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 painted a heartbreaking picture of what she and many others have endured during the pandemic.

Two healthcare workers wearing full protective gear care for an intubated patient in the ICU who is suffering from COVID.

Walensky went on to describe the horrific losses and daily tragedies she's witnessed during the pandemic, holding back tears as she shared personal experiences that she knew countless others could relate to.

"I know what it's like as a physician to stand in that patient room—gowned, gloved, masked, shielded—and to be the last person to touch someone else's loved one because their loved one couldn't be there. I know what it's like when you're the physician—when you're the healthcare provider—and you're worried that you don't have the resources to take care of the patients in front of you. I know that feeling of nausea when you read the crisis standards of care and you wonder whether there are going to be enough ventilators to go around and who's going to make that choice. And I know what it's like to pull up to your hospital every day and see the extra morgue sitting outside."

And for a much-needed message of hope, check out Dr. Fauci Just Said Exactly When We Won't Need Masks Anymore.

She offered a personal plea to "hold on a little while longer."

woman getting covid vaccine wearing a surgical mask
Shutterstock/Adelfa Peralta

Walensky concluded by making a personal plea to the public to not let their guards down too early. "I'm speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director and not only as your CDC director but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer," she said.

"I so badly want to be done. I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but not quite yet," Walensky added. "And so I'm asking you to just hold on a little longer, to get vaccinated when you can, so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends."

As for when that might be, check out This Is When the COVID Pandemic Will Be Completely Over, Experts Say.

Fauci also expressed concern just a day earlier.

A group of four young men and women cheers beer bottles together with their face masks hanging off, making it easier to spread coronavirus

Walensky is not the only health official to be raising the alarm about rising COVID cases in the U.S. During an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on March 28, White House chief COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, also warned that current trends were troubling for two reasons: the new variants and the rolling back of public health measures.

"What we're likely seeing is because of things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you've seen. Now, several states have done that. I believe it's premature," he said. "When you're coming down from a big peak, and you reach a point and start to plateau, once you stay at that plateau, you're really in danger of a surge coming up. And unfortunately, that's what we're starting to see." And for more on when we can resume some regular activities, check out Dr. Fauci Just Said When It'll Be Safe to Dine Indoors Like Normal Again.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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