The CDC has tried everything to get a handle on America’s COVID epidemic. Even as vaccines are readily available to all Americans over the age of 12 (with the younger ones able to get their vaccinations by mid-winter), the number of inoculations is dropping drastically as the right-wing effort to politize the vaccines in concert with the mask mandates is essentially helping the Delta variant spread at an alarming rate.
In a news briefing Friday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky called this new wave a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, citing that the most recent seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases was roughly 26,300 — a nearly 70 percent jump over the previous average. New hospital admissions went up 36 percent to about 2,790 per day. Daily deaths edged up 26 percent to 211 per day — a sobering figure given that deaths appeared to be declining in recent weeks, Walensky said.
As the Republicans continue to push anti-vaccine rhetoric, they seem to have forgotten that Donald Trump himself encouraged attendees at February’s CPAC in Florida to “go get your shot”.
Although the state of the pandemic is not as dire as it was in January, when the U.S. was averaging nearly 200,000 cases per day and the entire country was facing a high level of transmission, Dr. Walensky warned that the highly contagious delta variant will continue to spread in counties and states with low vaccination rates.
“If you are not vaccinated, you remain at risk,” she said. People who are fully vaccinated are protected against severe Covid-19, including the delta variant, Dr. Walensky said. She added that federal public health officials are concerned that “we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and, sadly, deaths among the unvaccinated.”
More than 160 million people across the U.S. were fully vaccinated as of Thursday. Watch Dr. Walesky’s briefing, below.