CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Has a 'Recurring Feeling... of Impending Doom'

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool

The last twelve months have been tough for everybody, but perhaps none more so than the people we’re supposed to trust to give us the facts about COVID-19. It can’t be easy, telling us as much of the truth as they think we can handle. If you’re anything like me — and let’s face it, you are whether you like it or not — you’ve been paying attention to what they’ve told you and you’ve done your best to heed their warnings. So you were probably confused when they told you this virus is less dangerous than the flu, and then a week later they told you it’s much more dangerous than the flu. You might’ve been taken aback when they strictly forbade you from wearing a mask, and then they turned right around and admonished you to wear a mask at all times. Or two masks, or three, or however many masks we’re supposed to wear now. The people who are supposed to know what’s going on clearly have no idea what’s going on, and that must be very stressful for them.


We’re all tired. But now that more and more people are getting vaccinated, you might be feeling some hope. You might think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. But what if it’s a train? Are you sure it’s not a train? Because it could be a train!

But don’t take it from me. Take it from someone who supposedly knows. Noah Higgins-Dunn, CNBC:

The U.S. is facing “impending doom” as daily Covid-19 cases begin to rebound once again, threatening to send more people to the hospital even as vaccinations accelerate nationwide, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.

“When I first started at CDC about two months ago I made a promise to you: I would tell you the truth even if it was not the news we wanted to hear. Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth and I have to hope and trust you will listen,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing.

Then she said this:

“I’m gonna pause here, I’m gonna lose the script, and I’m gonna reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. 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.”


Yeah, maybe she should’ve held onto that script. Sometimes it’s okay to stick to the script.

What purpose is served by this sort of doomsaying? We’re heading into our 13th month of this crap, and everybody’s edgy and exhausted and ready to snap. And now we’ve got the director of the CDC, a supposed woman of science, unloading her feelings on us. We’ve been living under impending doom for the past year. The whole time we’ve been listening to predictions that never came true. Is this another one of them? How are we supposed to tell the difference?

I’m sure Walensky’s feelings are real. To her. But how does that help us? She doesn’t have to sugar-coat things, and I’m not in denial that this virus is serious, but after the past year, “we’re all doomed” is not making me trust the people who demand my trust.

Let’s hope Walensky is wrong. If she is, she won’t be held to account for it. And if she’s right, I don’t know what the hell I’m expected to do about it. If despair is a disease, the CDC is doing a crappy job of controlling it.


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