It's been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began and vaccine rollouts provide a light at the end of the tunnel, but the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says we're not out of the water just yet.

In a White House briefing on Monday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky got emotional as she reflected on the "feeling of impending doom" due to a sudden rise in cases.

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"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," said Walensky. 

Last week, the country saw an increase in the number of reported COVID-19-related deaths along with the number of daily reported cases, which has risen from a seven-day average of nearly 57,000 to over 64,000 according to CDC data.

Walensky is asking Americans to "hold on a little while longer" in order to prevent another surge as some states continue to ease COVID-19 restrictions, which Dr. Anthony Fauci believes is being done "prematurely."