CDC leader states there is a Covid-19 ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’
During a White House briefing Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said the Covid-19 outbreak is becoming “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Staff Video, USA TODAY
New infections rose in all 50 states this weekend, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.
And more than 25,000 U.S. patients who likely had COVID-19 were in hospitals, patients who likely had COVID-19 were in hospitals Saturday, up 24.1% from a week earlier. Throughout the week hospitals admitted 51,378 likely COVID patients, up 15%. 6,198 adults with COVID-19 were in intensive-care units, up 25.7% from a week earlier.
In Springfield, Missouri, daily cases are being reported at roughly nine times the national rate.
“This is an all-time high. This rate of severe illness is worse than anything we’ve seen,” Katie Towns, acting director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, told Springfield City Council last week.
In neighboring Arkansas, which continues to be the nation’s top state for new cases per capita, only 35% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus appears to be largely sparing vaccinated people from the most severe illness.
New data out Sunday suggests reasons why those who have rejected vaccines have done so. 90% of respondents to a YouGov poll who reject vaccination fear possible side effects from the vaccine more than they fear COVID-19 itself.
Less than one in ten of the vaccine rejectors trust medical advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci, and only one in five trusts the CDCl. And one in five believe the government is using vaccines to microchip the population.
Fact check: COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause magnetic reactions or contain tracking devices
Meanwhile, more experts are calling for vaccinated people to mask up as COVID surges around the country. 5,492 fully vaccinated people have been hospitalized or died from COVID-19, among the more than 160 million people who have been fully vaccinated, the CDC reports.
“Instead of vax it OR mask it, the emerging data suggests CDC should be advising to vax it and mask it in areas with [rising] cases and positivity- until we see numbers going back down again,” former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said on Twitter.
“If I’m in an area where I think there may be a lot of folks who are unvaccinated, out of an abundance of caution, I will wear my mask in indoor settings,” current U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN.
Also in the news:
►Five Democratic Texas state lawmakers who fled to Washington, D.C., to stymie passage of a restrictive, GOP-backed voting law have tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, according to Texas House Democratic Caucus leadership.
►Coco Gauff shared Sunday that she tested positive for COVID-19, announcing that she would be withdrawing from the Tokyo Olympics just days before the start of the Games. Olympic organizers revealed Sunday that three residents in the Olympic Village, including two athletes, had tested positive for COVID-19 despite initially clearing arrival protocols.
►Health officials in Arizona on Sunday reported 980 additional COVID-19 cases and three more coronavirus-related deaths. It was the first time in five days that the state reported less than 1,000 new cases.
►Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says his office won’t enforce the county’s latest mask mandate, arguing that it isn’t backed by science. Health officials in popular tourist destinations such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas are asking more people to mask up indoors.
►European officials vaunted figures from Our World in Data showing that 55.6% of EU citizens have had at least one dose, compared to 55.4% in the U.S. It was the first time the EU figures outpaced those across the Atlantic. Canada’s vaccination rate is also now higher than the U.S.’s rate.
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Biden administration public health officials took aim Sunday at social media platforms like Facebook for perceived inaction on stopping misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines. It comes two days after the president himself said falsehoods online are “killing people.”
Alarmed by rising coronavirus infections across the country and frustrated by persistent conspiracy theories about the pandemic, public health officials are more forcefully criticizing media and tech platforms they argue are endangering the public.
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the federal government’s top public health adviser, said Sunday that “misinformation is still spreading like wildfire in our country aided and abetted by technology platforms.”
– Matthew Brown
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed coronavirus case.
The announcement by his office on Sunday reverses an earlier statement that, unlike most people, he would not face quarantine. Johnson met Friday with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who later tested positive for COVID-19. Contacts of positive cases usually have to self-isolate for 10 days.
The British government still plans to lift all remaining legal restrictions on social contact, as well as other public health measures on Monday, despite the U.K. recording more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in six months and a dire warning from the British government’s top medical adviser.
Contributing: The Associated Press