Wednesday, July 28, 2021

US at ‘another pivotal moment’ as Delta variant drives spike in Covid cases | US News

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The United States is “at another pivotal moment in this pandemic,” as rising Covid-19 cases show no signs of abating, driven by the Delta variant, and some hospitals are filling up, especially in areas with low rates. vaccination, government officials warned Thursday. .

The US government did not change its guidance on wearing masks, despite the debates at the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on whether to officially recommend once again to people who have been vaccinated to wear masks indoors to prevent the spread .

Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said that the Delta variant of the coronavirus “is now spreading with incredible efficiency” in the US and that, compared to the original coronavirus strain that broke out in the US, At the beginning of 2020, this variant is “more aggressive”.

“It is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses that we know and have seen in my 20-year career.” she saysd at a briefing at the White House on Thursday, noting that the United States “is not out of the woods.”

Walensky warned: “We are at another crucial moment in this pandemic, with cases increasing again and some hospitals reaching capacity in some areas.”

The United States is far from dire before vaccines became widely available, when repeated increases in infections in 2020 pushed the death toll from the pandemic in the United States above 600,000. tallest in the world.

But officials are concerned that new cases have continued to rise rapidly in the past two weeks and vaccination rates are stubbornly stagnant just below Joe Biden’s July 4 goal of 70% of American adults having received the minus one vaccine.

The Delta variant now accounts for more than 83% of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. And Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, said there are some areas of the country where Delta accounts for more than 90% of new infections.

“And if you look at the averages of recent cases of seven or 14 days, for example, the cases have increased like 195%. Hospitalizations are up 46%. And the 14-day average of deaths has increased by 42% … it is not the direction we want it to be ”, Fauci. told NPR News, adding: “We have to do much better.”

A smiling and unmasked Biden in May greeted a “great day” and said that “if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask” or practice social distancing.

But the president of the United States now urges eligible Americans who have not been vaccinated almost daily to get the vaccine, saying Wednesday night that it was “hugely important.”

On Thursday, when Walensky was asked if the official mask guide had changed, she said no.

“Fully vaccinated people are protected from serious diseases,” he said, but added that in areas with high numbers of cases, low vaccination rates and where the Delta variant is increasing, “you should wear a mask if you are not vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you get exceptional protection from the vaccine, but you have the opportunity to make a personal decision to add additional layers of protection if you wish. “

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