CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says she believes the United States has not yet reached the peak of the Omicron surge as more Americans have continued to test positive for the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus.
“The way it has peaked in other countries — in South Africa, it has come down rapidly as well,” she said, noting that the average daily cases reached 491,700 infections, after reaching a high of nearly 1 million cases confirmed on Monday. “But I don’t believe we’ve seen that peak here in the United States.”
“So there’s a lot we can do right now in this moment getting vaccinated, getting boosted,” she said. “We have 99 percent of our counties in high transmission. Wear your mask in public indoor settings.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 7, 2022
Walensky’s interview comes as she and the agency face criticism for issuing often confusing COVID-19 guidance.
“With the virus throwing one curveball after another, changing advice from the CDC is a given,” The New York Times reported Wednesday. “But Dr. Walensky’s critics say the CDC’s recommendations are sometimes so confusing or abruptly modified that they seem more like drafts than fully vetted proclamations.”
The news outlet notes that she has “stumbled in explaining her policy decisions” as many Americans pushback against the agency’s decision to shorten the isolation period for those who become infected with Omicron amid nationwide staffing shortages.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.