Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyFauci says trick-or-treating this Halloween ok Overnight Health Care — Presented by EMAA — Pfizer requests FDA authorize COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds CDC director urging flu shots ahead of potentially 'severe' season MORE in an exclusive interview with CNN addressed gun violence in America, calling it “a serious public health threat."
“Something has to be done about this,” Walensky said. “Now is the time — it’s pedal to the metal time.”
Walensky was outlining how she plans to have her agency address gun violence, which has become an increasing concern.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, 611 people died in 2020 as a result of mass shootings. The group defines mass shootings at four or more people shot or killed in a single incident, not including the shooter.
President BidenJoe BidenPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks State school board leaves national association saying they called parents domestic terrorists Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases MORE in April signed a series of executive orders in April aimed at addressing gun violence, saying at the time that gun violence in the U.S. was a “national embarrassment.”
This year alone, the nation has been rocked by several high profile mass shootings: one at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo., in March that killed at least 10 people; shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight dead and was deemed as racially motivated; and a shooting at rail yard in San Jose, Calif., that killed eight.
The CDC stopped conducting gun violence research in 1997 after Congress cut off funding due to pressure from the National Rifle Association (NRA), CNN noted. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE signed a bill in 2018 that allowed the agency to conduct gun violence research.
The news outlet noted that Congress agreed has allocated $25 million to the CDC and National Institutes of Health for gun violence research.
Walensky told CNN that her job is to understand “the scope of the problem” and how to make it better. She further said doesn’t want people to think that she wants to “take away their guns,” even saying that she wants to find common ground with gun owners.
“Let's agree, we don't want people to die. Let's just agree there. What can we do to stop people from dying, and what can we do to stop people from being injured,” Walensky said.