The ultimate goal of management is that Officials said they convey a sense of optimism and general confidence in their work on vaccines while publicly acknowledging a difficult reality – that infections could outperform vaccination rates and that new strains of the virus could escape existing shots. It’s a difficult balancing act for a president who has used his political success to find a way out of the pandemic. But walk around on tiptoe around words like “surge” There is a risk that the public will become confused as to whether something has changed and that precautionary measures will be ignored.
“My guess is we are on an upswing without vaccines,” said David Kessler, Biden’s chief science officer for Covid-19 responses, in an interview.
He is one of several high-profile health officials who said the country is still not seeing its recovery, despite the country seeing its first significant surge in Covid-19 cases since Biden took office. The same officials didn’t answer questions about an increase.
The government’s struggle to alert the public to the risk of the virus while still hesitant to declare an increase reflects its reluctance to declare an immigration crisis on the U.S. border with Mexico. Officials try to avoid portraying both situations as dire lest the public perceive them to be beyond the control of the administration.
It is clear that new Covid-19 cases are on the rise. The number of new Covid 19 infections has “increased steadily in the past week”, by 7 percent compared to the previous month. This emerges from an internal briefing memo from POLITICO. That is already two percentage points more than the Biden government confirmed on Tuesday.
Additionally, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 40 percent of counties now have high community transmission, according to the memo. The 7-day average of deaths, which traditionally lags behind case reporting, is up nearly 7 percent since last week. Hospital admissions have also increased.
Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical officer, told POLITICO that while the government is concerned about the recent surge, the number of Covid-19 cases may flatten.
“We just don’t know,” said Fauci. “It’s not good news that the trend is going up instead of going down. The more you hold on and not just exercise caution, the better the chance you have of preventing a flood of cases. It’s not as bad as you might think, but it is certainly something to really look out for and worry about. “
Kessler also said the recent surge in new infections was worrying, but the numbers could improve in the coming days.
“This is [a result of] Variants and relaxation restrictions, ”he said. “You see a slight increase in cases, but you certainly don’t see a sustained decrease in cases – that’s the problem. You have a high plateau at a high level.”
The hesitation about the word “surge” stems in part from the fact that the word months was remembered during the Trump administration, when Covid-19 cases and deaths were so proliferating that hospitals had to keep morgue trucks in parking lots . In a recent CNN interview, former Trump administration officials described a picture of a government unable to properly contain a pandemic that killed more than 560,000 people.
Biden administration officials said the current situation is much more complicated. As data shows an influx of new cases and hospitals begin to fill again due to staff shortages, the number of people vaccinated is increasing day by day. About a fifth of adults in the US have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
“It is a reality to keep both optimism and concern in our heads,” said Andy Slavitt, coronavirus advisor to the White House, in an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle on Tuesday. “The message from the Biden administration is: We have an accelerated threat and we have an accelerated response.”
The government is trying to get this message across to distinctly different groups of people – those who have been vaccinated, those who are either still waiting for a shot or who don’t plan on getting the sting, and to governors who have started Remove public health restrictions such as the compulsory wearing of masks and boundaries for eating indoors.
Meanwhile, Biden’s Covid-19 response team is pushing to ramp up the pace of vaccinations and reassure Americans that the country will ultimately defeat the virus.
White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said in a statement that the government’s message “remains clear and sober: we cannot disappoint our guard.”
“Mask yourself, follow public health measures and get the vaccine when it is your turn,” he wrote.
Adam Cancryn and Rachel Roubein contributed to this report.