The Babylon Bee has a marvelous story with this headline:

CDC Head Gives Press Conference While Holding “The End Is Near” Sign

You owe it to yourself to look at the artwork.

“The end is near” isn’t too far off from what CDC Director Rochelle Walensky actually said. In the same press conference in which the CDC head stated that data “suggests” that vaccinated people do not get or spread the virus, she veered into this:

“I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Walensky said [nevertheless, appearing to be reading still from a script]. “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.”

One has heard this sort of language from the raggedy street corner preachers who preach damnation, but from a bureaucrat? Walensky wasn’t finished:

“I’m speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director, and not only as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer,” she said. “I so badly want to be done, I know you all so badly want to be done, we’re just almost there, but not quite yet. And so, 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.”

But of course, we employ Dr. Walensky to speak as our CDC director, not as a mother, and certainly not as somebody in a position of authority who has taken leave of her emotional control. As for Dr. Walensky’s being a mother, I hope she doesn’t frighten the kiddies too much with apocalyptic bedtime stories.

If Walensky knows something dire we don’t know, she must control her emotions and tell us the bad news. Because the actual information she imparted was basically encouraging, so her mood was puzzling. Robby Soave of Reason takes a look at the CDC head’s perplexing outburst:

It’s true that cases are currently plateauing around 60,000 each day, and hospitalizations have ticked up slightly. What federal health authorities do not seem to understand, however, is that human beings are not just numbers on spreadsheets. We have a desire to socialize, to reopen our schools and businesses, to go outside and start living life again. Mass vaccination was intended to make this dream a reality, and the news is very good.

According to the data, vaccination reduces death and severe disease to basically zero, and vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others. This means that vaccinated people can reclaim normality with minimal danger—particularly if the activities in question (going to the park or the beach) do not themselves carry much risk in the first place.

If the authorities really believed we were facing impending doom, they should immediately distribute all available vaccines. And yet 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are currently sitting unused in a warehouse in Ohio, just waiting for the government to get around to signing off on them. According to the government, the situation is so dire that people should cancel summer travel plans and keep wearing masks even after they’re vaccinated, but not dire enough to tell federal bureaucrats to pick up the pace.

C-Span may have carried Walensky’s remarks, but the Babylon Bee got the tenor.