World Michigan Emerges as US COVID Epicenter as Gretchen Whitmer Marks 18 Days Without Briefing
A Terrible Conundrum for the AstraZeneca Vaccine
For the moment, reports of a very rare, dangerous blood disorder among recipients cannot be ignored.That’s why the past few weeks have felt so catastrophic.
Michigan has emerged as the U.S. COVID-19 epicenter with a surging number of cases and hospitalizations, while Governor Gretchen Whitmer has not held a press conference in 18 days.
There were at least 10,293 new COVID-19 cases confirmed from Sunday to Monday, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health, as well as 21 new COVID-19-related deaths.
The surge in COVID-19 cases has also led to an increase in hospitalizations in Michigan. According to data from the state's department of health, roughly 78 percent of ICU hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients.
The Pandemic’s Tornado Phase
In this new stage of the pandemic, some places will go unscathed while others suffer.Just look at Michigan, the leading edge of this new surge. Cases are going up quickly, and hospitalizations are moving in lockstep—just as they have in past surges. This is a bit of a surprise. Given that so many older, more vulnerable people have been vaccinated, one might expect a divergence in the number of cases and hospitalizations. For the immunized, this disease is essentially harmless. Washington State, for example, has reported just 100 cases and as few as eight hospitalizations among its 1.2 million fully vaccinated people.
Michigan has also seen the second-most cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, which was first discovered in the U.K. According to data from the), Michigan has reported at least 1,649 cases of this variant, which is second behind only Florida (3,191 cases).
This COVID-19 strain was designated as a "variant of concern" by the CDC and is known for having 50 percent increased transmission and "Likely increased severity based on hospitalizations and case fatality rates," according to the CDC.
Whitmer held her most recent press conference on March 19, when she notified residents that COVID-19 cases in the state were on the rise for the fourth consecutive week.
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Three games in and more elite performances were brought to the fore – but not the media’s favourites. We saw the best of the battlers in the best ways. Adelaide – Ben Keays The Tex is back, Adelaide have passed two awesome tests in the first three weeks. Rory Sloane, fresh off his elite part in the ‘Marking Their Mark’ documentary and Rory Laird is still revolutionising his midfield role, but Keays has absolutely ‘locked’ up his spot (I don’t apologise). The former Lion who 99 per cent of fans wouldn’t know if he turned up in his cornflakes has been really fantastic since crossing over to West Lakes.
"Cases have been rising since late February," Whitmer said. "Thankfully, deaths have remained low."
Newsweek reached out to Whitmer's office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
During a recent press briefing, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, "cases are increasing nationally, and we are seeing this occur predominately in younger adults."
Walensky also noted that vaccinating young adults would have a "massive impact" on the transmission of the virus.
In Michigan, more than 2.9 million residents have received a COVID-19 vaccine, which accounts for roughly 36.5 percent of the state's population.
Michigan recently expanded its vaccine eligibility, and as of Monday, residents age 16 or older were permitted to receive a vaccine. Despite the expanded eligibility, young adults in the state account for the largest group of residents yet to receive a vaccine.
What to Know About COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expanding, Signing Up for Shot
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden is expected to expand vaccine eligibility to all Americans starting April 19. Here's what you need to know.As a growing number of states move to open eligibility beyond priority groups such as the elderly or frontline workers, Biden is set to to announce that any adult American can be inoculated starting in two weeks, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
According to data from the state's department of health, at least 37,892 residents between the ages of 16 and 19 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is the lowest number across all age groups.
Newsweek reached out to the Michigan Department of Health for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
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Michigan’s governor emphasizes voluntary efforts to curb the most severe coronavirus outbreak in the US .
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s actions fly in the face of mandatory restrictions she instituted last year.The decision to refrain from instituting mandatory restrictions is a striking development for a Democratic governor who last year garnered national attention for swiftly instituting and standing by social distancing laws even in the face of militant right-wing protests and a kidnapping attempt against her. This time around, even as her state is experiencing a full-blown crisis, she’s taking a softer approach in what may be a political calculation about her reelection prospects next year.