US health officials said that after warning that the full reopening of the US economy may require restrictions by the authorities, the infectious Delta variant has quickly become the country’s most dominant strain of coronavirus.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday that her agency now estimates that Delta Air Lines accounts for 83% of the cases sequenced.
“This is a significant increase, higher than the 50% in the week of July 3,” Varensky said. She added that in some areas of the country, the proportion is even higher, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
The Delta variant originally discovered in India has rapidly spread to many countries, including those with High vaccination rateThis shocked health officials, including in the United States and the United Kingdom, and raised concerns about the need to re-impose restrictions to curb transmission.
Over the weekend, US surgeon Dr. Vivek Murthy warned that more US cities may follow Los Angeles and reintroduce mask requirements in indoor environments, even among fully vaccinated people, to curb the spread of Delta variants.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with CBS This morning, CDC is Review its guidelines According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, all students, faculty and staff aged 2 years and older, regardless of the vaccination status, should wear masks for school children to use.
Valensky said that in the past week, an average of 239 people died of Covid-19 every day in the United States, an increase of nearly 48% from the previous week.
She previously warned that the United States is experiencing a “Unvaccinated epidemic” The number of cases has risen rapidly again, especially for those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated despite adequate supplies.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 161 million Americans are fully vaccinated, accounting for approximately 48.6% of the US population. Valensky said on Tuesday that in nearly two-thirds of the U.S. counties, fewer than 40% of people are vaccinated.
The Biden administration expressed concern that misinformation shared on social media platforms has exacerbated vaccine indecision, and has openly quarreled with Facebook.
“The CDC’s message is still clear: the best way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants is to prevent the spread of the disease, and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,” Varensky said.
Fauci said at a hearing on Tuesday that the vaccine authorized for use in the United States is still very effective against the “powerful” Delta variant.
“We have the tools to end this epidemic, and we have a responsibility to make the most of these tools,” he said. He said research is underway to determine whether vaccinated people need to be boosted “to increase the durability of protection.”
White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield (Kate Bedingfield) said, Tell CNBC On Tuesday, she believed that social media companies were responsible for the misinformation on vaccines posted on their platforms. She said that the White House is “reviewing” Article 230 of the Communications Norms Act, which grants social media companies legal immunity from content posted by users on their platforms.
Cases have also been reported in fully vaccinated individuals. A spokesperson in the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives was confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday after meeting with Democrats in the Texas legislature last week , The latter later tested positive for the virus.
Additional reporting by Kiran Stacey, Peter Wells and James Politi in Washington