CDC chief says vaccinating alone won't stop Michigan Covid surge

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer receives a dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine at Ford Field throughout an occasion to advertise and encourage Michigan residents to get the vaccine on April 6, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan.

Matthew Hatcher | Getty Images

A high Biden administration well being official stated Monday that Michigan ought to “shut things down” because it grapples with an amazing surge in coronavirus circumstances.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky stated a lift in Covid-19 vaccinations alone is not the reply — at the same time as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer calls on the federal authorities to ship extra vaccines her method.

“I think if we try to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we would be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work, to actually have the impact,” Walensky stated throughout a White House briefing on the pandemic. It takes a number of weeks for immunizations to kick in and scale back the caseload, she famous.

The state’s greatest guess, Walensky stated, “is to really close things down.”

Walensky referred to as on Michigan “to go back to where we were last spring, last summer and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another” and to ramp up testing and call tracing efforts. Cases in Michigan have dramatically risen in latest weeks, averaging 7,359 new circumstances per day during the last week and approaching its pandemic highs set round Thanksgiving, based on information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Deaths are also on the rise.

“Really what we need to do in those situations is shut things down,” Walensky stated.

Whitmer, a Democrat in a politically purple state where shutdowns have been especially controversial, has been reluctant to order new restrictions in response to the latest surge in circumstances.

Last week, she requested residents in her state to voluntarily limit their activities and urged schools to temporarily halt in-person learning. But she careworn that “to be very clear, these are not orders, mandates or requirements.”

No state is recording extra each day infections on a per capita foundation than Michigan, based on a CNBC evaluation of Johns Hopkins University information. 

Much of the present surge stems from a extremely infectious variant of Covid, B.1.1.7, which is now essentially the most common strain of the virus in the U.S.

Whitmer on Friday called on President Joe Biden’s administration to flood her state with vaccines, going as far as to induce the federal government to “create a vaccination surge program to help states like Michigan.” The administration is reportedly prepared to hurry some assets to the state, however not vaccines.

Walensky, with out addressing Whitmer immediately, pushed again on the requires delivery further vaccines out to states with extreme outbreaks.

“There are different tools that we can use for different periods” of an outbreak, Walensky stated at Monday’s briefing.

“We know that if vaccines go in arms today, we will not see an effect of those vaccines, depending on the vaccine, for somewhere between two to six weeks,” she stated. “So when you have an acute situation, extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine. In fact, we know that the vaccine will have a delayed response.”

“Similarly, we need that vaccine in other places,” Walensky stated. “If we vaccinate today, we will have impact in six weeks, and we don’t know where the next place is going to be that is going to surge.”

CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.