White House COVID task force urges residents to remain cautious as things improve

‘Progress demonstrates we can defeat COVID-19, but it does not equal success,’ White House advisor says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were expected to release new guidelines Thursday for what’s safe for those who are fully vaccinated.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were expected to release new guidelines Thursday for what’s safe for those who are fully vaccinated.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained Friday why those guidelines aren’t ready yet at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing.

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At the briefing, the task force urged states to not lift mask mandates and drop other restrictions just yet.

“Six weeks ago, only 8% of seniors -- those most vulnerable to COVID -- had received a vaccination,” said White House advisor Andy Slavitt. “Today, nearly 55% of people age 65 or older have received at least one shot.”

However, Slavitt warned that progress does not mean success.

“It may seem tempting in the face of all of this progress to try to rush back to normalcy as if the virus is in the rear view mirror,” Slavitt said. “It’s not.”

Walensky said the CDC is still working on guidelines for the fully vaccinated. She said the issues are complex and the science is rapidly evolving.

“Our goal and what is most important is that people who have been vaccinated, and those not yet vaccinated, are able to understand the steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Walensky said. “We are making sure and taking the time to get this right, and we will be releasing this guidance soon.”

A new study from the CDC released Friday found states with mandatory mask mandates saw decreases in both coronavirus cases and deaths. States that allowed on-site dining in restaurants had a 3% increase in COVID deaths within 100 days.

“I think the science is now following the messaging that we have, and the messaging has followed the science. We have demonstrated that masks work,” Walensky said. “This is not the first report that demonstrates the impact of in-person dining and how cases and deaths will follow after in-person dining. So I think all of this is very consistent.

The study can be read in full here.

The CDC director stressed that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but the road to get this might not be smooth. How rough the road will be depends on the actions of all of us in the weeks ahead.

About the Authors:

Devin Scillian is equally at home on your television, on your bookshelf, and on your stereo. Devin anchors the evening newscasts for Local 4. Additionally, he moderates Flashpoint, Local 4's Sunday morning news program. He is also a best-selling author of children's books, and an award-winning musician and songwriter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.