Florida, Missouri and Texas now account for 40% of new coronavirus cases in U.S.
WH: Of COVID-19 cases this week, 40% originated in Florida, Texas and Missouri
At a briefing Thursday, Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said that 40% of all coronavirus cases this week were concentrated in Florida, Texas and Missouri. He added that for the second week in a row, Florida accounted for 20% of all the cases in the nation.
Forty percent of all new cases this week have been recorded in Florida, Texas and Missouri, White House pandemic response coordinator Jeff Zients
revealed at a press briefingThursday
Florida alone accounts for 20 percent of all new cases nationally, Zients pointed out, a trend that has stretched into its second week.
Zients added that “virtually all” hospitalizations and deaths — a full 97 percent — are among unvaccinated people. “The threat is now predominantly only to the unvaccinated,” he said. A few vaccinated people do experience so-called breakthrough infections
, but they tend to experience only mild COVID-19 illness, or no illness at all.
Encouragingly, Zients said the five states that have experienced the most significant rise in infections — Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and Missouri — all also saw vaccination rates beat the national average for a second week in a row. But because immunity takes two weeks to develop, and the Delta variant spreads so rapidly, the benefits of the increased uptake of vaccinations may not be evident right away.
Singling out the three states where infections are now spiking could have the effect of putting pressure on elected officials there to do more to encourage vaccinations.
Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, is a Donald Trump loyalist who is widely expected to seek the presidency in 2024. His handling of the pandemic is coming under new scrutiny
with the recent rise in cases.
Critical care workers insert an endotracheal tube into a COVID-19 patient at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fla., in February. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
As the pandemic has surged back in parts of the country, other Republicans have deviated from that approach. The governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson — a Republican who, like DeSantis and Abbott, is rumored to have presidential ambitions
of his own — has recently pushed
for more vaccinations in his state.
There were 46,318 new cases of the coronavirus reported nationwide on Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said at Thursday’s briefing. That is a marked increase from the lows of late May and early June
. Hospitalizations and deaths are also rising, after plummeting earlier this summer.
“If you are not vaccinated,” Walensky said, “please take the Delta variant seriously.”
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