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C.D.C. Warns Against Loosening Coronavirus Restrictions

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned against loosening coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday. This comes after Texas announced on Tuesday that it would lift its mask mandate.

We are at a critical nexus in the pandemic. So much can turn in the next few weeks. On the one hand, cases in the country are leveling off at rates, at rates just on the cusp of potential to resurge. And the B.1.1.7. hyper-transmissible variant looms ready to hijack our successes to date. And on the other hand, stamina has worn thin. Fatigue is winning, and the exact measures we have taken to stop the pandemic are now too often being flagrantly ignored. All the while, we are just on the verge of capitalizing on the culmination of a historic scientific success, the ability to vaccinate the country in just a matter of three or four more months. How this plays out is up to us. The next three months are pivotal. I think we at the C.D.C. have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions. I do think that, as I said in my remarks, the next month or two is really pivotal in terms of how this pandemic goes. As we scale up vaccination, we really do need to decrease the amount of virus that is circulating as we’re trying to vaccinate all of the public. I will also note that every individual has — is empowered to do the right thing here, regardless of what the states decide for personal health, for public health, for their health, of their loved ones and communities. I would still encourage individuals to wear masks, to socially distance and to do the right thing to protect their own health.

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