For the first time in decades, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – the nation’s top public health agency – is speaking out forcefully about gun violence in America, calling it a “serious public health threat.”
“Something has to be done about this,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “Now is the time – it’s pedal to the metal time.”
This summer alone has seen a spree of gun injuries and deaths, and the weekends have been especially violent, with an average of 200 people killed and 472 injured by guns each weekend in the United States, not including suicides, according to an analysis done by the Gun Violence Archive for CNN. That’s nearly 3.4 people shot every hour every weekend.
“The scope of the problem is just bigger than we’re even hearing about, and when your heart wrenches every day you turn on the news, you’re only hearing the tip of the iceberg,” Walensky said. “We haven’t spent the time, energy and frankly the resources to understand this problem because it’s been so divided.”