Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Infection rates continue to drop, but COVID-19 response team warns of variants

While coronavirus infection rates and hospitalizations continue to decline in the United States, the White House COVID-19 response team said Tuesday that the Delta variant of the virus that causes the disease still poses a threat, especially among the younger population.

During the regular virtual newsletter of the response team, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, told reporters that the latest daily average of new cases had dropped by 30% in the past week to 13,277 cases, and 90% since the beginning of the year. She said it was also the lowest daily average since March last year.

She said hospitalizations were down again this week and have fallen by about 83% since the beginning of the year. She attributed these encouraging numbers to people being vaccinated and cited a new CDC study released Tuesday that shows the effectiveness of the shots.

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However, Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top adviser on the pandemic, says the various strains of the virus are still threatened – especially what is known as the Delta variant originally identified in India.

Fauci said the Delta variant has become the dominant tribe in Britain, and that most of the fallen are young people.

Fauci said the variant currently accounts for 6% of new cases in the United States, and he stressed the need to get young people vaccinated in the US to prevent what happened in Britain. He said studies have shown that both current COVID-19 vaccines are the most effective against the virus once both doses have been received.

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With less than a month to go, U.S. President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one dose of vaccine from 70 percent of the U.S. by July 4 could be in jeopardy. The Washington Post reported Monday that vaccination rates had dropped below one million a day, a significant drop from the high of 3.4 million a day in April.

Andy Slavitt, coordinator of the White House’s COVID response teams, said the government was doing everything in its power to encourage people to be vaccinated, especially minority communities, including opening pop-up vaccination centers that do not require appointment, and the coordination of efforts by community centers and faith-based organizations.

Slavitt presented his last newsletter as he left the White House this morning Wednesday.

Nation World News Desk
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