As U.S. Cases Rise, White House Covid Czar Says It’s Not a Moment to be ‘Excessively Concerned’

The new White House Covid-19 response coordinator, Dr. Ashish K. Jha, said Monday that while there had been a recent uptick in new U.S. coronavirus cases, he was not overly concerned.

“We’ve got to watch this very carefully — obviously, I never like to see infections rising — I think we’ve got to be careful,” Dr. Jha said on the “Today” show. “But I don’t think this is a moment where we have to be excessively concerned.”

Dr. Jha, a public health expert, made several media appearances on Monday, his first official day according to the White House, and he pointed to low hospitalization numbers across the United States. The vast majority of the country has low community levels of Covid-19, according to calculations performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that are designed to assess the number of new cases in a community and the strain on its hospitals, a point also made on Sunday by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, President Biden’s top pandemic adviser.

“Right now that is showing an uptick, but not showing substantial changes in what we should be doing,” Dr. Jha said on CNN, referring to the C.D.C. framework. “And I think the C.D.C. policy is right on this.”

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