As some states roll back pandemic shutdowns, U.S. health officials fear losing ground to the virus.
Coronavirus disease cases and deaths are back on the rise in the United States, federal health officials said on Monday, amid growing concerns about the spread of new variants and hardship for many people to book. vaccination Appointment.
At a coronavirus task force press conference, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Walensky said that after weeks of decline, cases and deaths had both increased at a rate of more than 2% in the last seven days. .
“The recent declines in cases have stabilized,” Walensky said. “These data are proof that our recent decline appears to have come to a standstill.”
On average, 67,200 new cases are detected every day and more than 2,000 die from the disease, she said. More than 513,000 Americans have died from the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, more than any other country in the world.
Amid those numbers, more states and localities are easing restrictions related to the pandemic, a development she says she is concerned about.
“I am really concerned that more states are reversing the exact public health measures we recommended to protect people from COVID-19.”
“Seventy thousand cases a day looks good compared to just a few months ago,” Walensky said. “Please hear me clearly: at this level of cases where variants spread, we risk completely losing the hard-earned ground that we have won.”
Officials said Monday that the country is currently administering an average of 1.7 million doses per day. According to the CDC website, more than 75 million people have been vaccinated to date. But the rate is still well below the rate required for the United States to fully reopen its economy.
US President Joe Biden has pledged to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office. On Friday, his administration commemorated the mid-term Mark 50 million doses, and said they were ahead of schedule to meet that goal.
In an effort to further stimulate the campaign, the United States urgently gave approval to use a third COVID-19 vaccine produced by drug maker Johnson & Johnson.
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently administered, the J&J vaccine requires only one injection.
Officials said shipments of J&J vaccines began on Monday and the company’s chief executive, Alex Gorsky, told NBC on Monday that Americans would be able to receive their vaccine within the next 24 to 48 hours.
But at the coronavirus task force press conference on Monday, White House COVID response coordinator Jeff Zients said that for many Americans, scheduling appointments remains difficult.
“I think making an appointment is difficult, remains too difficult in too many places,” he said. “Overall, too many Americans are frustrated and taking far too long to make an appointment.”
Since the start of the campaign, people have complained that websites for scheduling appointments will go down or malfunction, and people with appointments are turned away due to insufficient doses.
Officials said Monday that with the introduction of the J&J vaccine, supply issues are expected to improve.