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CDC director: Wear masks, follow federal guidelines

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the nation is 'at a critical nexus in the pandemic,' and the next two months are 'pivotal.'

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is warning against virus fatigue and encouraging Americans to continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing despite many states easing restrictions.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the nation is “at a critical nexus in the pandemic,” and the next two months are “pivotal” in determining the remaining course of the pandemic.

While vaccinations are set to rapidly ramp up, Walensky warned deaths and new infections have plateaued at a “troubling” level after falling off their January highs.

She says: “Fatigue is winning and the exact measures we have taken to stop the pandemic are now too often being flagrantly ignored.”

Walensky says the CDC has been clear in opposing states’ moves to lift restrictions and encouraged Americans to follow federal guidelines.

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Credit: AP
In this image from video, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks during a White House briefing on the Biden administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (White House via AP)

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

The United States has more than 28 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of Wednesday, the U.S. had more than 517,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are nearly 115 million confirmed cases with more than 2.5 million deaths.

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