Rising covid cases fuel resurgence fears, Biden ramps up vaccine push

Indian ‘Delta’ variant rips through the US: COVID cases rise to 32K a day over the past week – a 66% increase over the previous seven days, as the average number of Americans dying from COVID every day last week rose by 13% to 258

  • The COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline
  • Number of new cases per day has tripled over the last 30 days driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July parties
  • Confirmed infections have climbed to an average of about 32,000 a day
  • The average number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has also risen 21% over the past 30 days to over 19,000
  • Deaths rose 25% last week to an average of 258 per day
  • While the rates are still sharply down from their January highs, officials are concerned by the reversing trendlines 
  • Parts of the country are running up against deep vaccine resistance, while the highly contagious Delta variant accounts for an ever-larger share of infections
  • 161million people have been fully vaccinated – about 49.1% of U.S. population 
  • More than 99% of COVID-19 deaths and 97% of hospitalizations are among people who have not been vaccinated, according to the CDC 
  • A surge in coronavirus cases across the United States has fueled fears of a pandemic resurgence as the highly contagious Delta variant appeared to be taking hold.  

    The average number of daily new Covid cases was 32,278 last week – up 66% from the daily rate the week before, and a shocking 145% higher than two weeks ago, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    The average number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the United States has tripled in the past 30 days.

    The average number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has also risen 21% over the past 30 days to over 19,000.  

    Almost 25,000 people are currently in hospital with Covid – a 26% increase from last week, CNN reports.

    Average daily deaths, which can lag behind other indicators, rose 13% in the last week to 258.

    While the rates are still sharply down from their January highs, officials are concerned by the reversing trendlines and what they consider needless illness and death when a vaccine is available.

    Cases are expected to continue to rise in coming weeks.

    Deaths rose 25% last week to an average of 250 per day

    Deaths rose 25% last week to an average of 250 per day

    Confirmed infections have climbed to an average of about 32,000 a day

    Confirmed infections have climbed to an average of about 32,000 a day

    Many of the new outbreaks were in parts of the country where COVID-19 vaccinations have lagged, prompting political leaders to ramp up pressure on reluctant Americans to get the inoculations.

    President Joe Biden, citing higher rates of COVID-19 in states with low vaccination rates, said during a speech that the nation’s economic recovery hinged on getting better at controlling the pandemic.

    ‘Please, please get vaccinated,’ Biden pleaded. ‘Get vaccinated now.’

    A federal judge on Monday ruled that Indiana University could require students to be vaccinated, rejecting claims in a lawsuit the mandate violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution.

    The ruling could set a precedent for similar vaccination orders in schools and businesses. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have said they would appeal to a higher court.

    Also on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said fully vaccinated Americans could cross the border for the first time in 16-months from August 9, easing a travel ban that many business owners complained was crippling them.

    Vaccines and especially mandatory shots are deeply controversial among conservatives.

    This chart shows how the number of people getting vaccinated has peaked with 338m doses distributed and 161m people fully vaccinated - 49% of the population

    This chart shows how the number of people getting vaccinated has peaked with 338m doses distributed and 161m people fully vaccinated – 49% of the population

    People shop at a store in Hollywood, California, the day after the return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases

    People shop at a store in Hollywood, California, the day after the return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases

    There has been a return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases

    There has been a return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases

    While the national emergency may have faded, officials say the outbreak is now a more localized crisis in communities where not enough people have rolled up their sleeves.

    ‘Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,’ Biden said on Friday, echoing comments made earlier by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The rising numbers are being driven by large pockets of infection among the more than 90 million eligible Americans who have yet to get shots. Just four states with low vaccination rates made up 40% of new cases last week, and nearly half of them came from Florida alone.

    Although cases are climbing once again, the numbers of deaths are relatively low compared to the peak last winter

    Although cases are climbing once again, the numbers of deaths are relatively low compared to the peak last winter

    There have been more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. and 34million cases

    There have been more than 600,000 deaths in the U.S. and 34million cases

    America's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that vaccinated people were still protected 'very well' but that the Delta variant spread far for easily

    America’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that vaccinated people were still protected ‘very well’ but that the Delta variant spread far for easily

    But there is little appetite in the White House for a return to broad mandates for masks or other measures, as 161 million Americans are already fully vaccinated.  

    With three highly effective vaccines authorized for use in the U.S., the Biden administration believes the most effective way to attack the virus is not trying to slow the spread with mass masking and such — something the U.S. showed it was not very good at last year — but to continue to press the importance of vaccinations.

    It’s no easy fix. Many Americans remain resistant or unmotivated to get shots, despite months of often-creative efforts by federal and state officials and the private sector to spread information about vaccine safety and accessibility.

    More than 99% of COVID-19 deaths and 97% of hospitalizations are among people who have not been vaccinated, according to the CDC.

    The pandemic is now ‘one that predominantly threatens unvaccinated people,’ White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said.

    The Biden administration expects cases to increase in the weeks ahead because of spreading in communities with low vaccination rates. Zients added that there is a sign that the increased cases are driving more people in those communities to seek vaccination, reporting that ‘states with the highest case rates are seeing their vaccination rates go up’ faster than the national average.     

    ‘For most people who get this Delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital,’ Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration said on Sunday.  

    ‘This is a virus that has now shown us that it has a very strong capability of more efficiently spreading from person to person than the previous prototype viruses that we’ve experienced,’ America’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday while stressing how vaccinated people were still protected ‘very well’. 

    ‘Although you’re dealing with a virus that because of this extreme capability of spreading from person to person, is causing more infections including breakthrough infections of vaccinated people, for those who are vaccinated, it’s still doing very well against severe disease,’ he said.

    ‘Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for unvaccinated people … we can expect among the unvaccinated hospitalizations and eventually, in some situations, deaths. 

    The Delta variant appears to be sending younger and previously healthy people to hospitals, although the majority of those being admitted are not vaccinated. 

    ‘This year’s virus is not last year’s virus,’ said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to CNN. 

    ‘It’s attacking our 40-year-olds. It’s attacking our parents and young grandparents. And it’s getting our kids,’ O’Neal said noting she has more patients in their 20s as patients than during the pandemic.

    The pandemic is also once against affecting the financial markets. 

    More than 14,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday in California. 'This is a pandemic overwhelmingly and disproportionately of those that have not been vaccinated,' California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday

    More than 14,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday in California. ‘This is a pandemic overwhelmingly and disproportionately of those that have not been vaccinated,’ California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday

    Wall Street saw a broad selloff of stocks as investors worried that the latest outbreaks could prompt state and local officials to impose new lockdowns and business closures.

    Millions of Americans were thrown out of work and many small businesses were forced out of business due to nationwide clampdowns during 2020.

    Already Los Angeles County has ordered residents to wear masks indoors again following a surge in cases across Southern California.

    More than 14,000 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday in California. 

    ‘This is a pandemic overwhelmingly and disproportionately of those that have not been vaccinated,’ California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday. 

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference on Monday that the city had no plans to reimpose mask mandates despite a rise in cases. The mayor said he would redouble vaccination efforts.

    Stocks sank on Monday with the Dow plunging nearly 800 points. Pictured above is the five-day summary

    Stocks sank on Monday with the Dow plunging nearly 800 points. Pictured above is the five-day summary

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference on Monday that the city had no plans to reimpose mask mandates despite a rise in cases. The mayor said he would redouble vaccination efforts. Times Square is pictured on Monday

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference on Monday that the city had no plans to reimpose mask mandates despite a rise in cases. The mayor said he would redouble vaccination efforts. Times Square is pictured on Monday

    Arkansas has been especially hard hit by the resurgent virus. All but two of the state’s 75 counties have substantial or high levels of transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The Delta variant is responsible for 90% of current new cases in Utah’s Salt Lake County, state epidemiology manager Ilene Risk said.

    To combat the rising infections, the county has enlisted faith leaders and doctors to persuade the roughly 40% of eligible people who are not fully vaccinated to accept the shots, she said.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday released updated recommendations for schools that included mask-wearing for everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status.

    Earlier this month, the CDC updated its own guidance for schools in an effort to help reopen in the fall, recommending masks indoors for everyone not fully vaccinated, among other guidelines.  

    The AAP cited several reasons, including the fact that children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination.

    ‘There are many children and others who cannot be vaccinated,’ said Dr. Sara Bode.

    ‘This is why it’s important to use every tool in our toolkit to safeguard children from COVID-19. Universal masking is one of those tools, and has been proven effective in protecting people against other respiratory diseases, as well. It’s also the most effective strategy to create consistent messages and expectations among students without the added burden of needing to monitor everyone’s vaccination status.’ 

    Details of the country's vaccination effort is mentioned on a state-by-state basis

    Details of the country’s vaccination effort is mentioned on a state-by-state basis