WASHINGTON, DC (FNN) – The White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials raised a stark alarm during its latest press briefing Friday.
According to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on July 15th the CDC reported more than 33,000 new cases of COVID-19, with the 7-day new cases average at 26,300 cases a day which is up almost 70% from the prior 7-day average.
The 7-day hospital admissions rate is at 2,790 per day, an increase of almost 36%. And the 7-day daily death rate is up 26% to 211 deaths per day.
Dr. Walensky said, “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk. And communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well.”
Dr. Walensky made it clear that those who are fully vaccinated are protected against severe COVID, hospitalizations, deaths and are protected against all known variants including the Delta variant. While those who are not vaccinated are at risk, and she is concerned that we will continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among the unvaccinated.
Dr. Walensky also stressed the need for both shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both of these vaccines are 90% effective against the coronavirus and its variants. If you don’t have both shots then you are still at risk and she recommends that even if you are past the three- to four-week time frame for your next shot, go get the second shot.
Dr. Anthonty Fauci said that the Delta variant is now dominant in the world with 100 countries having detected it. In the US, the Delta variant carries a greater than 50% dominance and in some areas, that dominance exceeds 70%.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said that four states accounted for more than 40% of all the cases in the past week, with 1 in 5 of all cases occurring in Florida. These cases are mainly among the unvaccinated, with those unvaccinated accounting for virtually all of the recent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.
During the past week, five states with the highest case rates–Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada–had a higher rate of people getting newly vaccinated than the national average.
Mr. Zients also stated that at this time the CDC and FDA are saying that fully vaccinated individuals do not need a booster shot. This is being continually evaluated to determine if and when a booster might be needed and who would need one. He also said that the government is prepared in the event that the CDC and FDA recommend booster shots.
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory on July 15th on the dangers of health misinformation that has led to people resisting wearing a mask in high-risk situations, turning down proven treatments, sometimes for unproven treatments, and choosing to not get vaccinated.
The advisory asks that people check sources and verify it is backed by credible, scientific sources before sharing any information. As the advisory says: If you are not sure, don’t share.
The full advisory can be read at surgeongeneral.gov/healthmisinformation.
The biggest takeaway from the briefing: everyone needs to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.
Lynn DeJarnette is a contributing writer for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org