Biden grapples with ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’


WASHINGTON (AP) — Two weeks after celebrating America’s near ‘independence’ from coronavirus, President Joe Biden with the alarming reality of increasing cases and deaths, and her the ability to combat the persistent vaccine hesitancy responsible for the summer decline.

COVID-19 cases have tripled in the past three weeks, and hospitalizations and deaths are increasing among unvaccinated people. While rates are still sharply below their January peaks, officials are concerned about reversing trend lines and what they see as unnecessary sickness and death. And cases are expected to continue to rise in the coming weeks.

While the national emergency has passed, officials say the outbreak is more of a local crisis in communities where enough people are no longer able to roll up their sleeves.

“Look, the only epidemic we have is among the unvaccinated” Biden In a statement Friday, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. He echoed comments made earlier in the day by Rochelle Walensky.

Increasing numbers are driven by large pockets of infection among the more than 90 million eligible Americans who have not yet been vaccinated. Four states with low vaccination rates accounted for 40% of new cases last week, with nearly half coming from Florida alone.

But with 161 million Americans already fully vaccinated, there is little appetite in the White House for a return to broad powers for masks or other measures.

Reflecting this mindset, Walensky said on Friday that in low-vaccination areas where cases are increasing, “local policymakers may consider at this point whether masking would be beneficial for their communities.”

Some communities are taking action. Los Angeles County on Thursday reinstated the requirement to wear masks in most indoor environments regardless of vaccination status, and health officials in Las Vegas on Friday recommended that workers and customers at the tourism hotspot cover their faces while inside.

With three highly effective vaccines allowed for use in the US, the Biden administration believes the most effective way to attack the virus isn’t to try to slow the spread with mass masking and the like – something the US showed last year to be not very good – but continue to stress the importance of vaccines.

It’s not an easy fix. Despite months of creative efforts by federal and state officials and the private sector to disseminate information about vaccine safety and availability, many Americans remain resistant or unwilling to get vaccinated.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy added that although government can play an important role, “this should be an ‘all above’ strategy that involves everyone,” including schools, employers, technology companies and individuals.

Recently, management has turned its focus to young Americans. He enlisted pop star Olivia Rodrigo for a one-day visit to the White House on Wednesday. Biden and heavily documented for social media, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. Younger people are at the lowest risk for adverse outcomes from the virus and have proven to be among those least likely to be vaccinated.

But another large group proved to be an even more vexing challenge: Republicans. The White House has long acknowledged that, given widespread disinformation about vaccines and the country’s partisan divisions, there will be little success in persuading the GOP to get on board. Instead, administration officials have stepped up criticism in recent days from public officials and social media companies for spreading or not condemning vaccine misinformation spreading among the GOP.

“They are killing people” Biden He talked about social media companies on Friday. A day earlier, surgeon general Murthy warned that misinformation about vaccines spread on platforms like Facebook poses a public health risk to the nation.

“Unsupported accusations will not bother us,” Facebook spokesman Kevin McAlister said in a statement. “The truth is that more than 2 billion people have viewed reliable information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, more than anywhere else on the internet.”

The government’s new expression of disappointment comes as health officials stress that nearly all serious cases and deaths are now preventable, while tens of millions of Americans continue to refuse to be vaccinated, unnecessarily prolonging the pandemic and costing lives.

According to the CDC, more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths and 97% of hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said on Friday that the outbreak is now “an epidemic that predominantly threatens unvaccinated people.”

The Biden administration said it expects cases to increase in the coming weeks due to the spread in communities with low vaccination rates, but Zients added that the increasing cases are a sign that the increasing cases are pushing more people in these communities to seek vaccines. the highest case rates see vaccine rates increasing faster than the national average.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 Washington Times, LLC.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *