Amid new variants of COVID-19 and dropping rates of vaccination, the cases in the United States have nearly tripled in the last two weeks, reports the Associated Press. The nation is witnessing an onslaught of vaccine misinformation which has resulted in the number of new cases going up.
According to data released by John Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average across the US has shot up to 37,000 over the past two weeks. The number was lower than 13,700 in the week ending July 6. The rise is also being attributed to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is rapidly spreading across the globe. The Delta variant is the deadliest strain of the COVID-19.
US President Joe Biden had launched a nationwide vaccination drive after he took office on January 20. But the number of Americans getting vaccinated has gone down significantly in the last few weeks. Only 68% of Americans have received at least one jab of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The rising cases has severely increased the load on hospitals. Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, told AP that the staff was frustrated. The Florida hospital has been forced to cancel elective procedures and surgeries as the number of unvaccinated patients rise.
“They are tired. They are thinking this is déjà vu all over again, and there is some anger because we know that this is a largely preventable situation, and people are not taking advantage of the vaccine,” Neilsen said.
Opposition to the vaccine is significantly tied to the political divide in the country, with hostility much more pronounced among conservatives, particularly among supporters of former president Donald Trump.
The Biden administration has also roped in pop singer Olivia Rodrigo in a bid to encourage young people to get vaccinated.