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Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool via Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said Monday she's concerned the U.S. could experience "another avoidable surge" in coronavirus infections due to new variants, if people don't follow mitigation measures like mask-wearing and social distancing.

Why it matters: A growing number of states have moved to reopen despite the spread of new variants. States are increasingly attributing their coronavirus cases to variants, Walensky noted.

  • B.1427 and B.1429 are estimated to comprise 52% of cases in California, 41% in Nevada and 25% in Arizona, according to Walensky.
  • The B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K., is estimated to account for 9% of cases in New Jersey and 8% in Florida.

What she's saying: "We must act now, and I am worried that if we don't take the right actions now, we will have another avoidable surge — just as we are seeing in Europe right now and just as we are so aggressively scaling up vaccination," Walensky said.

  • "We are looking at these data, we're reaching out to individual states, trying to encourage them," Walensky added.
  • "We are having weekly governors' calls. We're doing outreach with states, territories to encourage them to look at their case data, to look at what's happening with the variants and to do as much outreach as we can to try and slow down the relaxation."

The big picture: One in six U.S. adults has been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

  • The U.S. has seen a steady downward trend in the number of daily cases since January, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Go deeper

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The dispiriting housing boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's a discouraging scene: Bidding wars, soaring prices, and fears that homeownership is becoming out of reach for millions of Americans. We're in a housing frenzy, driven by a massive shortage of inventory — and no one seems to be happy about it.

Why it matters: Not all bubbles burst. Real estate, in particular, tends to rise in value much more easily than it falls. Besides, says National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, this "is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply."

Updated 5 hours ago - World

China's COVID vaccines have low efficacy rates, official says

China Centers for Disease Control director Gao Fu at a March event in Beijing, China. Photo: Han Haidan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's director said Saturday authorities are considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines because the country's domestically made doses "don't have very high protection rates," per AP.

Why it matters: The remarks by the Gao Fu at a news conference in the southwestern city of Chengdumark mark the first time a Chinese health official has spoken publicly about the low efficacy of vaccines made in China.