Walensky on Getting Out of COVID Crisis Mode: 'We're Not Where We Want to Be' and 'Can't Be Cavalier' about Current Death Count


On Tuesday’s “CBS Mornings,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky responded to questions on when we’ll move out of a crisis mode on the coronavirus and whether we’ll just have to live with the virus by saying that we’re “not where we want to be” at the moment, “we can bring down the amount of disease in this country and get much faster to that place.” And “we can’t be cavalier about the fact that we’re losing so many lives from this right now.”

Co-host Tony Dokoupil asked, “From a public health, scientific perspective, where — when do we shift into recovery mode and out of crisis mode?”

Walensky responded, “We all want to get there. We’re not where we want to be right now. But what I’ll say is we have 1,100 deaths every day, still. And we can’t be cavalier about the fact that we’re losing so many lives from this right now.”

Co-host Gayle King then asked, “Shouldn’t the messaging be, though, Rochelle, as we sit here, as we’re going into year two, people think we’re waiting for you to sound the trumpet saying it’s all clear, we’re not really going to get an all clear, are we? We just have to face the fact that we’re going to have to live with this, true?”

Walensky answered, “I think that that’s probably true. But I would say is, we have a lot of control and power to do that as we come together, as we get vaccinated, as we do those prevention things that work to protect one another and ourselves and our family, we can bring down the amount of disease in this country and get much faster to that place.”

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