The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged MichiganThe governor’s governor shut down the state instead of asking for more vaccines in order to control a sudden increase in coronavirus cases.
Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said Monday that she believes Michigan should impose new restrictions to combat the rapid spread of the disease, adding that an exceptional vaccine delivery would arrive too late to stop the rise in cases.
His comments mark a rare political intervention by the US public health body, which so far has remained largely happy to release guidelines and let states set their own lockdown rules. They also reflect growing tension between Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s governor, and the federal government over how to reverse a regional jump in cases that experts say could sweep across the country before enough. of people either. vaccinated to stop it.
Walensky said, “The answer to that is to really shut things down, get back to our basics, go back to where we were last spring, last summer, and stop it, flatten the curve. , to reduce contact with each other, to test as far as we have available, to contact trace.
“Sometimes you can’t even do it to the capacity you need. But, really, what we need to do in these situations is stop it. ”
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She added, “I think if we were to try to vaccinate to escape what’s going on in Michigan, we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work, to actually have an impact.”
Whitmer was praised by many Democrats last year for imposing lockdown measures, even in the face of public attacks by former President Donald Trump.
In recent days, however, she has resisted calls to reimpose some of these measures, asking schools to drop in-person teaching and youth sports, but not ordering them to do so.
Instead, the Democratic governor called on the federal government to provide his state with a larger allocation of vaccine doses over the coming weeks.
She said over the weekend, “We’re seeing a surge in Michigan despite having some of the strongest policies in place: mask mandates, capacity limits, working from home.
“Despite all of that, we are seeing a push because of these variations. And that is precisely why we are really encouraging them to think about the vaccine boom in the state of Michigan. “
Nearly 7,000 people in Michigan were confirmed to have the disease on Saturday, according to the most recent figures from the state health department – close to last year’s record. Hospitalizations from the virus are also near record highs, at 4,118 people, while deaths from the disease increased from about 15 a day to almost 45. The Midwestern state has a population of nearly 10 million people.
The state’s surge in cases comes even as the country continues to ramp up its immunization program. About 4.6 million people have been vaccinated in the United States on Saturday – a daily record – with nearly half of the adult population now having received at least one dose.
Health officials believe that the successful deployment of the vaccine may have made even unvaccinated people feel overconfident about the trajectory of the disease. Michigan doctors say people who fill their wards are younger than in previous waves.