The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he is concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 growing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly.
Noting that almost all coronavirus deaths are now among tens of millions of people who have not received vaccines, despite the widespread availability of vaccines, Dr. Vivek Murthy has made a disturbing picture of what the future might hold.
“I’m worried about what’s to come because we’re seeing increasing cases among vaccinated people in particular. And while, if you’re vaccinated, you’re very protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately it’s not true if you’re not vaccinated,” Murthy said. he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
U.S. cases of COVID-19 last week increased by 17,000 nationwide over a 14-day period for the first time since late fall, and an increase in deaths historically follows a spike in illness. Much of the worsening problem is driven by the delta variant first identified in India, which has then affected the UK and other countries, Murthy said.
While the numbers of U.S. cases and hospitalizations are still well below levels since the pandemic hit earlier this year, Murthy said the worsening situation shows the need to convince more. people to get vaccinated.
“It’s our fastest and most effective way to get out of this pandemic,” he said.
About 186 million Americans received at least one stroke, but another 90 million eligible Americans did not receive it. Officials are trying to overcome a refusal among some – particularly conservatives, of rural white people – to get vaccinated, but it is unclear how to do so. So, in the meantime at least, some places have returned to the health precautions that had been ruled out.
In Las Vegas, some resorts and casinos are again requiring employees to wear masks in response to a recommendation issued by health officials amid rising rates of COVID-19 cases in Nevada; ranks fifth in the United States for the newest cases per capita in the last two weeks.
Los Angeles County at the end of Saturday reinstated the rules that require everyone to wear masks in public buildings. Around San Francisco Bay, which has some of the highest vaccination rates in California, health officials have recommended that everyone also wear masks in public buildings, regardless of their vaccination status.
But in conservative Alabama, where COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in a month and only about a third of the population is fully vaccinated, officials have refused to restore statewide health rules or use tricks. such as lotteries to boost immunization.
“I think the best thing for us to do is just encourage everyone to use their common sense and practice personal responsibility and make themselves and their families safe,” Governor Kay Ivey told reporters last week.
Cases are also on the rise in Springfield, Missouri, where Mayor Ken McClure told CBS-TV’s “Face the Nation” that false information about the pandemic prevented the fight to vaccinate people.
“I think we see a lot of diffusion through social media that people talk about the fears they have, the fears related to health, about what might happen to them later in their lives, about what might be contained in vaccinations, ”he said.
Murthy, the general surgeon, said “not enough” progress has been made in the fight against widespread misinformation through social media about COVID-19 and vaccines. People, not just platforms like Facebook, need to fight the problem, he said.
“Each of us has a decision we make every time we post something on social media, and asking people to pause and see, is it an accurate source? Will it come from a scientifically credible authority? And if not? , or if you’re not sure, don’t share, ”he said.