New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey had for more than 196,400 of the country’s 453,360 cases reported in the last week, according to data available Wednesday morning.
Those states are home to just 22% of the US population, according to estimates from the US Census Bureau.
Though vaccination rates have increased nationally, not enough people have been inoculated to outpace the spread. And with more-transmissible variants spreading, surges like Michigan’s may soon be seen more widely, epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm said.
“I wish we had another three or four months before this B.1.1.7 variant surge started to occur,” Osterholm, director for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said Tuesday.
The surge of variants in some states like Michigan should make the federal government think about shifting how it allocates vaccines, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN on Wednesday.
“So the federal strategy has to be to shift more vaccines to places like Michigan that are surging so they can use more vaccinations to stop that surge and save lives,” he said.
Half of US adults may have had their first shot by the weekend, White House says
By the end of the weekend, the percentage of US adults who have had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine might reach 50%, the White House said Tuesday.
But that does not mean the country is finished with the pandemic, a Biden administration adviser said.
“We do have to remember that there are 100 million-plus adults that still haven’t been vaccinated,” Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Tuesday. “They’re not there yet, and you don’t win the war until you bring everybody over with you.”
Some states are pulling back mask mandates and opening capacity for businesses. But Fauci said Tuesday that foregoing preventative measures while the majority of Americans are still unvaccinated is a mistake.
“It is premature to declare a victory,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We’ve got to continue and hang in there a bit longer by continuing with the public health measures.”
Fortunately, the US still has tools to stay on course even if the public is fatigued, Slavitt said. Opening vaccine accessibility and focusing on vulnerable groups, as the US did to give 80% of teachers and school staff at least one shot amid calls for school to reopen, can help the nation…