WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday that a recent decline in COVID-19 cases may be stalling, a development she described as concerning while urging that restrictions to fight the virus remain in place.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters the CDC was watching the concerning data closely.
The White House on Friday also urged companies to join efforts to help fight the pandemic by requiring mask wearing by employees and educating customers.
Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser on the White House’s COVID-19 response team, listed a number of companies that were taking measures to help with the pandemic fight and urged more to join.
Ford and the Gap were producing and donating millions of masks, he said, while Best Buy, Target and Dollar General were giving workers paid time off to get vaccines.
The White House is working on a broad campaign to educate Americans about the vaccine as it seeks to bring the pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people in the United States under control.
President Joe Biden on Thursday noted concerns that later this spring supply of the vaccines would outstrip demand because of vaccine hesitancy.
Reporting by Jeff Mason, Carl O’Donnell and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama.