This State Should "Shut Things Down," CDC Director Says
Despite vaccinations, this one state's COVID situation is getting worse.
It certainly feels like the country is turning the tide on COVID, particularly with vaccinations expanding to more and more people across the U.S. It's not time to relax just yet, however. In fact, one state's COVID situation is currently so bad that the CDC director is saying they need to "shut things down" as states did in spring 2020. Read on to find out which state is in serious trouble, and for more on the current coronavirus situation, Half of New COVID Cases Are in These 5 States.
The CDC director said Michigan should "shut things down."
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, called out Michigan on April 12, saying things were bad enough that the state needed to shut down again. According to Walensky, Michigan is facing such an overwhelming surge in coronavirus cases at the moment that a boost in COVID vaccinations alone isn't enough.
Asked what the state could do during a White House briefing, Walensky said, "The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer, and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test to the extent that we have available, to contact trace." And for more from the CDC, The CDC Is Warning You to Avoid This One Place, Even If You're Vaccinated.
Both COVID cases and deaths are on the rise in Michigan.
Per a CNBC analysis of John Hopkins University data, no state is currently recording more daily infections on a per capita basis than Michigan. Cases in Michigan have risen significantly in the past few weeks, with officials reporting more than 7,000 new infections each day, according to The New York Times. This is seven times the case numbers the state had in February, which was only around 1,000 per day. COVID deaths are also rising again, at nearly a 115 percent increase in the past two weeks, per The New York Times. However, only 23 percent of the state has been fully vaccinated. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Michigan's governor is urging the federal government to send the state more vaccines.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been urging President Joe Biden to send more vaccines to the state. According to The New York Times, Whitmer had a call with Biden on April 8, but White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients said on April 9 that the administration is not planning to shift vaccine doses to hard-hit states like Michigan, as the "fair and equitable way to distribute the vaccine is based on the adult population by state, tribe, and territory." However, on April 12, White House adviser Andy Slavitt did note that the administration has sent more FEMA personal to administer vaccines in Michigan.
But Walensky made it clear that this won't be enough for the state. "I think if we try to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work, to actually have the impact," she said. It takes several weeks for immunizations to kick in and reduce cases, Walensky noted. And for more vaccine news, This One Vaccine May Protect You Against All Variants, New Study Says.
Whitmer has urged residents to self-regulate instead of issuing new restrictions.
Despite the state's out-of-control COVID situation and her pleas for more vaccines, Whitmer has avoided instating any new restrictions in Michigan. The state still has a statewide mask mandate and business capacity limits, per The New York Times, but Whitmer has made it clear she will not shut down businesses or mandate other restrictions. Instead, she has asked residents to take a two-week break from indoor dining, in-person high school, and youth sports—making it clear this was a recommendation, not a request. "Policy change alone won't change the tide," the governor said on April 9. "We need everyone to step up and to take personal responsibility here." And for more on staying safe, The CDC Says If You See This at a Restaurant, Don't Go Inside.