Forty percent of this week’s coronavirus cases came from the states of Florida, Texas and Missouri, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said. Florida contributed the highest number of cases with one in five infections coming out of the state alone.
The news comes as the highly transmissible delta variant was said to account for 83% of infections in the U.S. and blamed for rising cases nationwide, with unvaccinated individuals accounting for nearly all of hospitalizations and deaths. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky noted 46,318 daily cases reported to the CDC, with the seven-day average leading up to July 20 at 37,674, reflecting a 52.5% increase over the week prior.
Zients also noted that the states with highest case numbers, such as Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Nevada have had a higher rates of newly vaccinated residents than the national average.
“People in these states are feeling the impact of being unvaccinated and are responding with action,” Zients said.
Approximately 162 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, including 80% of those who are most at risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.
About 2 million people received one shot in the last 10 days.
Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy urged the importance of getting vaccinated, noting that 99.5% of COVID-19 deaths are among the unvaccinated along with 97% of all hospitalizations.
Vivek also addressed misinformation, mostly found on social media, which he said “is a threat to our health and the speed, scale, and sophistication with which it is spreading is unprecedented,” citing the advisory that he issued last week in an effort to combat misinformation.
President Biden predicted vaccines could win authorization for children under 12 as early as August, with Walenksy adding: “I’ll just say that we’re looking at the clinical trial data now, we’re waiting for the clinical trial data to come in, the approval of the data and the authorization will be a regulatory FDA decision. So after we have seen the clinical trial, I have not seen them myself, after we will see them then then they will go to the FDA for their regulatory process of authorization.”