Florida, Missouri and Texas now account for 40% of new coronavirus cases in U.S.

WASHINGTON — Just three states are now driving the pandemic in the United States, because the divide between vaccinated and unvaccinated areas of the nation turns into ever extra stark, because the extra transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus spreads.

Forty % 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 briefing Thursday.

Florida alone accounts for 20 % of all new cases nationally, Zients identified, a pattern that has stretched into its second week.

Zients added that “virtually all” hospitalizations and deaths — a full 97 % — are amongst unvaccinated folks. “The threat is now predominantly only to the unvaccinated,” he mentioned. Just a few vaccinated folks do expertise so-called breakthrough infections, however they have an inclination to expertise solely gentle COVID-19 sickness, or no sickness in any respect.

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Encouragingly, Zients mentioned the 5 states which have skilled essentially the most vital rise in infections — Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and Missouri — all additionally noticed vaccination charges beat the nationwide common for a second week in a row. But as a result of immunity takes two weeks to develop, and the Delta variant spreads so quickly, the advantages of the elevated uptake of vaccinations might not be evident immediately.

Singling out the three states the place infections are now spiking might have the impact of placing stress on elected officers there to do extra to encourage vaccinations.

Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, is a Donald Trump loyalist who’s extensively anticipated to hunt the presidency in 2024. His dealing with of the pandemic is coming under new scrutiny with the latest rise in cases.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, additionally a GOP presidential aspirant, has lately mentioned he will not impose new mask mandates. Both he and DeSantis have additionally signed measures putting down necessities that folks produce proof of vaccination.

Critical care workers insert an endotracheal tube into a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fla., in February.

Critical care employees insert an endotracheal tube right into a COVID-19 affected person at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fla., in February. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

As the pandemic has surged again in components of the nation, different Republicans have deviated from that method. The governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson — a Republican who, like DeSantis and Abbott, is rumored to have presidential ambitions of his personal — has recently pushed for extra vaccinations in his state.

Rep. Steve Scalise, a member of Republican management in the House of Representatives and an in depth Trump ally, rolled up his sleeve last Sunday and was vaccinated. Scalise represents a district in Louisiana, one other state with a low charge of vaccination that’s experiencing a surge in new cases.

There had been 46,318 new cases of the coronavirus reported nationwide on Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky mentioned at Thursday’s briefing. That is a marked improve from the lows of late May and early June. Hospitalizations and deaths are additionally rising, after plummeting earlier this summer season.

“If you are not vaccinated,” Walensky mentioned, “please take the Delta variant seriously.”

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