CDC Director Rochelle Walensky discusses how pandemic may end

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said she knows the pandemic is far from over but she also believes it won’t last forever.

For Walensky, one of the key signs the United States is exiting the pandemic will be when hospitals are no longer filled with COVID-19 patients. And when the number of daily deaths starts to plummet.

“We’ve gotten pretty cavalier about 1,100 deaths a day,” Walensky told ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton in a rare in-person interview from CDC headquarters in Atlanta. “That’s an extraordinary amount of deaths in a single day from this disease,” Walensky said. “We can’t — I can’t — be in a position where that is OK.”

Despite the grim daily death count, Walensky said she believes that one day we’ll leave behind one of the key symbols of the pandemic: the face mask. “Masks are for now, they’re not forever,” Walensky said. “We have to find a way to be done with them.”

The best way to end the pandemic, Walensky said, is to “lean in” to the current strategies we know work. Walensky is urging patience as public health guidance evolves to reflect new science.

“Science is hard in a two-minute soundbite,” she said. “Know that every single decision — as hard as they are — have been grounded in science” [ABC News].



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