COVID circumstances are on the rise in Arkansas because the Delta variant of concern spreads
A surge in COVID-19 cases in the US is being fueled by unvaccinated Americans as officials increasingly say misinformation about vaccines is leading too many people to forego the potentially life-saving vaccinations.
President Joe Biden told reporters Friday that social media platforms like Facebook, which have spread misinformation about vaccines, are “killing people.” Biden’s comment follows the publication of an opinion by US General Surgeon Vivek Murthy on Thursday in which Murthy described health misinformation as “a serious threat to public health”.
Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that vaccinations in the US have steadily declined since their peak in late May. After millions rushed to get their vaccinations in early 2021, the supply of vaccines now far exceeds demand.
Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner, said misinformation “has led people to go without masks”. [and] Doubts About Vaccines, “while Andy Slavitt, a former Biden government advisor on COVID-19, said on Twitter that misinformation wrongly” convinced just enough US communities that a vaccine was worse than COVID. “
Fact check:Biden doesn’t want to monitor private texts for misinformation about vaccines
Fact check: Viral meme makes false claims about delta variants
Republican, Utah Governor Spencer Cox pointed to the devastating power of misinformation about vaccines spread by right wing figures.
“We have these – these talking heads who got the vaccine and tell other people not to get the vaccine,” Cox said, according to the Washington Post. “It’s easy, it’s ridiculous; it’s dangerous, it’s harmful, and it kills people. I mean, it literally kills their supporters, and that doesn’t make sense to me. “
Also on the news:
►Three Texas House Democrats tested positive for COVID-19 in Washington, DC, according to the leadership of the Texas House Democratic Caucus. You are among nearly 60 lawmakers who fled the state on Monday to break the quorum in the House of Representatives to block the passage of a GOP-led electoral law. Most of the members live in the same hotel.
►Florida COVID-19 hospital admissions rose 73% from mid-June, ending months of the steady decline that began when widespread vaccinations became available.
►The UK government is still planning to lift any remaining legal restrictions on social contact and other public health measures on Monday, despite the UK registering more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in six months and a dire warning from The UK UK Government’s chief medical advisor.
►Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who is in charge of the UK’s coronavirus response, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating while awaiting the results of a second test. Javid, who is fully vaccinated, said in a video message that he has had only mild symptoms so far.
►Canada has now outperformed the US in the percentage of residents fully vaccinated, with the Canadian government reporting that 50.04% of residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
►Thousands of protesters marched across France on Saturday against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to provide required vaccinations for health workers and a free COVID-19 certificate for access to public places.
📈 Today’s numbers: There have been more than 34 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 608,800 deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 189 million cases and more than 4 million deaths. More than 160.6 million Americans – 48.4% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we read: Border guards face a COVID-19 crisis as President Joe Biden considers easing border rules. “We didn’t take a break,” Brian Hastings, head of the Rio Grande Valley US Border Guard, told USA TODAY. More here.
Arkansas leads the nation in COVID-19 case rate as vaccinations lag behind
Cases of COVID-19 have doubled in the US in the past two weeks, and Arkansas is becoming a case study of how low vaccination rates can fuel the spread of the virus.
Arkansas remains the nation’s leading state in per capita new cases, and only 35% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus seems to largely spare vaccinated people from the most serious illness.
“Of all of our seriously ill COVID-positive patients in Baptist Health facilities, none have been fully vaccinated,” said Stephanie Whitaker, chief nursing executive of Baptist Health, a major health care provider in the state.
Arkansas has had a lax pandemic response in the past and was one of only seven states not to have a stay at home order for non-essential activities in response to the pandemic in March and April 2020.
Meanwhile, cases rose in all 50 states for the week ending Friday, according to USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.
Mask yourself indoors in Los Angeles and Las Vegas – even if vaccinated, officials say
Health officials from popular tourist destinations like Los Angeles and Las Vegas are urging more people to mask themselves indoors.
The Southern Nevada Health District now recommends that people wear masks in crowded indoor public places – including casinos in Las Vegas – regardless of vaccination status, according to a statement Friday.
The announcement comes a day after Los Angeles County’s announcement that it will reintroduce an indoor masking policy due to a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases. Other counties in California followed on Friday with mask recommendations.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he and his deputies would “not use our limited resources” to enforce the order. Villanueva also criticized the reinstated mandate for violating CDC guidelines and for not being “science-backed,” according to a Los Angeles subsidiary of ABC News.
– Bailey Schulz
Tokyo 2020 organizers report the first positive COVID-19 case in the Olympic Village
The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee reported the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Olympic Village on Saturday. The unknown person, who is only referred to as “staff affected by games” by the organizers, tested positive for the disease on Friday and is now in quarantine in a hotel.
Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the organizing committee, said at a press conference that he had no information on whether the person was vaccinated. And Seiko Hashimoto, the committee’s president, said the organizers are doing everything in their power to ensure that the Olympic Village – like all venues and facilities – is as safe as possible.
The unnamed resident of the Olympic Village is one of 44 people associated with the Games, according to the organizers, who have tested positive for COVID-19 since July 1. Fourteen of these cases were reported on Saturday. 28 of the 44 positive results were for Tokyo 2020 contractors. Continue reading.
– Tom Schad
New study touts the benefits of the second shot
With two-dose COVID vaccines, the benefits of a second vaccination “far outweigh those of the first vaccination,” according to Stanford researcher Bali Pulendran.
Pulendran co-authored a study on how Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines work. The study was published in an early version of “Nature” on July 12th.
The benefits of the second shot went beyond the “simple” measure of a successful immune response: the introduction of neutralizing antibodies, Pulendran said in a press release. The shot “stimulated multiple spikes in antibody levels, a great T-cell response that was lacking after the first shot alone, and a noticeably enhanced innate immune response,” said Pulendran.
COVID-19 has become the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”
All 50 states reported more COVID-19 cases in the past 7 days than the week before, a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University showed.
The data marks a worrying trend for public health officials as the country enters its fourth wave of cases, with the average number of daily cases in the past week up nearly 70% overall compared to the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As the number of cases increases, the most worrying outbreaks continue to occur in areas with low vaccination rates, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, at a press conference on Friday.
“This is becoming a pandemic for the unvaccinated,” added Walensky. The average number of hospitalizations and deaths has also increased over the past seven days, increasing by about 36% and 26%, respectively, according to the CDC.
Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said four states accounted for more than 40% of all new COVID-19 cases in the US last week, with 1 in 5 occurring in Florida. Zients didn’t name the other three, but CDC data shows Arkansas, Missouri, Florida, and Louisiana with the highest case numbers per 100,000 people – each averaging over 150 over the past seven days.
Cases will continue to increase in the coming weeks and will focus on unvaccinated communities, Zients said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, please get vaccinated now,” he added.
Contributors: Abbi Ross, Fort Smith Times Record; The Associated Press