Biden warns Americans to not let their ‘guard down’ as COVID cases rise again

WASHINGTON – As COVID cases begin to rise again, President Joe Biden issued a warning Monday to Americans to not let their “guard down” against the deadly coronavirus.

“This is not a time to lessen our efforts,” Biden said during a speech Monday. “We could still see a setback in the vaccination program. And most importantly, if we let our guard down now, we could see a virus getting worse, not better.”

Beaches and other vacation destinations were packed due to spring break. Biden noted that “some of the reckless behavior we’ve seen on television over the past few weeks means that more new cases are to come in the weeks ahead.”

“With vaccines, there’s hope, which is a very good thing, to state the obvious, but people are letting up on precautions, which is a very bad thing,” he said.

Biden’s comments come hours after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said she had a feeling of “impending doom” over another COVID-19 surge.

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“We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope, but right now I’m scared,” she said during a COVID briefing.

Walensky said that daily infections are up 10% from a week ago, and hospitalizations are also on rise on the rise again. She added that deaths averaged nearly 1,000 per day last week after four consecutive days below 850.

“I’m asking you to just hold on a little longer, to get vaccinated when you can, so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends,” she said.

Biden during his speech also announced that 90% of American adults will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines by April 19.

When asked by reporters whether he thinks states should pause their reopening efforts, the president had a one word response: “yes.”

Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_

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