Politics Delta fears grip economy as cases jump across the country
Los Angeles County sees exponential growth in Covid-19 cases as Delta variant becomes dominant, worrying officials
The most populous county in the US is seeing "exponential growth" of Covid-19 cases as the Delta variant takes over as the dominant coronavirus strain, health officials in Los Angeles County said. © Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images LONG BEACH, CA - JULY 06: The city of Long Beach's Department of Health & Human Services holds an evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus. on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 in Long Beach, CA. Doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are available. The site is open Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The delta variant of the coronavirus is sweeping through the United States, raising the average number of cases to 30,000-per-day, crowding hospitals in areas with large number of unvaccinated people and spurring questions about the nation's recovery from the pandemic.
Stocks tanked on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial average dropping 725 points after being down more than 900 points at one time.
It was the worst one-day performance in the Dow since last October, and followed losses in markets around the world as investor fears about how the delta virus might slow both the health and economic recovery took hold.
State's health officials warn of delta 'surge' as 7 children in ICU due to COVID-19
Of the seven children diagnosed with COVID-19 currently in the intensive care unit, two are on ventilators, Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. Of the seven children currently in the intensive care unit due to COVID-19, two are on ventilators, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
Health officials have described the latest stage of the coronavirus as a pandemic of the unvaccinated while emphasizing that those who have had their shots are relatively safe.
Yet Los Angeles County on Saturday reinstated a mask mandate for indoor public settings, a sign that local communities may decide to reimpose restrictions as a safety measure.
An Olympic gymnast and an Olympic women's basketball player both announced they had tested positive as they prepared for the Games, which is being held in a state of emergency in Tokyo where the rate of vaccinations is behind the United States.
Canada had also been well behind the U.S. in its vaccination rate but surpassed its southern neighbor on Monday, a sign of how much more slowly the vaccination rate now is in the United States. A big reason is that many people who are unvaccinated do not want to get the vaccine, something the Biden administration has increasingly blamed on social media and some conservative media outlets.
Map Shows Which States Are Getting Hit Hardest By Delta Variant
"Unfortunately it's going to get worse before it gets better in terms of the spread of this infection," Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said.#DeltaVariant is causing this #COVID19 surge across all 50 US states—even in heavily vaccinated ones. Vaccines definitely work, but we have to dispel the notion that 1 shot for 70% is enough. We likely need 85%+ double vaccinated coverage with 2x more contagious Delta. Stay safe. pic.twitter.
While the 30,000 cases per day on average is more than double the 13,000 average at the end of June, that rate is still well below highs from last fall and earlier this year.
Still, deaths are also ticking back up, at around 240 per day.
Because vaccinated people are still overwhelmingly protected, especially from severe outcomes, case and death numbers are likely to stay well below the worst of last winter's surges, before vaccines were widely available.
But unvaccinated people are at increasing risk, especially given the rise of the highly transmissible delta variant, and the vaccination campaign is hitting a wall, leaving more than 30 percent of adults without any shots and exposed to the full dangers of the virus.
States with lower vaccination rates are seeing the worst outbreaks. Arkansas, Missouri, Florida and Louisiana are the four states with the highest per capita new cases per day, according to data from the Covid Act Now tracking site. The percentage of the population with at least one shot in those states is 44 percent, 47 percent, 56 percent, and 40 percent, respectively.
Overnight Health Care: Delta fears grip economy as US cases jump | Pediatric group recommends masks for students over 2 | Federal judge will not block Indiana University's vaccine mandate
Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care. It's not a baby whale. A giant multi-colored fish washed ashore in Oregon, in what was big news for the local aquarium. If you have any tips, email us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8. Today: The stock market plunged amid concerns over the delta variant. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended universal mask wearing for all students older than 2 years old, and a federal judge decided not to block Indiana University's vaccine requirement.
In contrast, Vermont and Massachusetts, where the vaccination rate is over 70 percent, are faring much better.
Vaccine resistance among some leading conservative commentators and lawmakers is raising fears that many of the remaining unvaccinated may never get the shots.
Sten Vermund, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, said he is "not particularly worried" about COVID-19 for himself, because he is fully vaccinated.
"What worries me is my fellow Americans who for a variety of reasons choose not to get vaccinated; they continue to be in harm's way," Vermund said.
In the rare instances where vaccinated people do get COVID-19 cases, symptoms are likely to be much milder.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday that 97 percent of people entering the hospital with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, part of why she said it "is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated."
Conservative resistance to vaccination is stiffening. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this month found that 47 percent of Republicans said they were unlikely to get vaccinated, compared to just six percent of Democrats. Among Republicans, 38 percent said they definitely would not get the shots.
Overnight Health Care: Fauci clashes with Paul - again | New York reaches $1.1B settlement with opioid distributors | Delta variant accounts for 83 percent of US COVID-19 cases
Welcome to Tuesday's Overnight Health Care. Most attention has gone to Jeff Bezos for his space trip. But 82-year-old Wally Funk made history too by becoming the oldest person to launch into space on the Blue Origin.If you have any tips, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8.Today: Rand Paul escalated his feud with Anthony Fauci, New York settled with opioid distributors, and the delta variant has fully taken hold of the country.We'll start with Fauci:Fauci v.
Former President Trump has previously encouraged people to get vaccinated, though he has not made a forceful push, for example by recording a public service announcement or getting his own shots in public.
On Sunday, though, Trump appeared to justify people not taking the vaccine, blaming President Biden.
"He's way behind schedule, and people are refusing to take the Vaccine because they don't trust his Administration, they don't trust the Election results, and they certainly don't trust the Fake News, which is refusing to tell the Truth," Trump said in a statement.
Asked if Biden would request Trump film a public service announcement on vaccination, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said "we don't believe that requires an embroidered invitation to be a part of."
"Certainly any role of anyone who has a platform where they can provide information to the public that the vaccine is safe, it is effective, we don't see this as a political issue," Psaki said. "We'd certainly welcome that engagement."
She also emphasized, though, that the administration is focusing on local doctors and community leaders to try to boost vaccination rates, not national officials.
The effort is hitting its limits, though. The pace of vaccinations has fallen to around 500,000 per day, down from over 3 million at the peak in April, according to Our World in Data.
Death rates soar in Southeast Asia as virus wave spreads
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Indonesia has converted nearly its entire oxygen production to medical use just to meet the demand from COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe. Overflowing hospitals in Malaysia had to resort to treating patients on the floor. And in Myanmar’s largest city, graveyard workers have been laboring day and night to keep up with the grim demand for new cremations and burials. Images of bodies burning in open-air pyres during the peak of the pandemic in India horrified the world in May, but in the last two weeks Indonesia and two other Southeast Asian nations have surpassed India’s peak per capita death rate as a new coronavirus wave tightens its
"I'm not that hopeful that we're going to get to people who have refused to be vaccinated," said Preeti Malani, an infectious disease expert at the University of Michigan.
Experts increasingly say the best remaining hopes of reaching the remaining unvaccinated are school and employer mandates for their workers or students to get vaccinated.
France is experiencing a surge in vaccinations after President Emmanuel Macron announced this month that proof of vaccination, or a negative test, would be required for everyday activities like going to restaurants. The Biden administration has repeatedly ruled out a national vaccine passport in the U.S., though, and Republicans have rebelled against the idea.
Full approval of the vaccines from the Food and Drug Administration, as opposed to the current emergency authorization, could also help assuage some people's fears, and some experts have called on the FDA to move faster on issuing a full approval.
The Biden administration has stepped up its calls for Facebook and other technology companies to do more to fight vaccine misinformation on their platforms.
Biden on Friday said social media companies are "killing people" with misinformation. On Monday, though, he dialed the criticism back down, instead pointing to 12 people responsible for much of the disinformation.
"Facebook isn't killing people, these 12 people are out there giving misinformation," Biden said.
"My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally, that somehow I'm saying Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation, the outrageous misinformation about the vaccine," Biden added. "That's what I meant."
For its part, Facebook said over the weekend, before Biden's walk-back, that the administration was "finger pointing" and the company was not the reason the president's goal of getting 70 percent of adults at least one shot by July 4 was missed.
Los Angeles County's move to return to an an indoor mask mandate, even for vaccinated people,
got mixed reviews from experts, but either way, it is unlikely to be replicated in places that are the hardest hit, given that places that are resistant to vaccines tend to also be resistant to masks.
"Vaccines are really the only way out," Malani said. "We can't live in masks forever."
COVID-19 live updates: US faces summer surge as delta variant spreads .
A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 194 million people worldwide and killed over 4.1 million of them.More than 610,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.