Jeff Zients, the White House Covid-19 Response Czar, speaks during a press conference at the White House discussing a pause in the delivery of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine on April 13, 2021 in Washington, DC, languages.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
As more and more people in the United States are being vaccinated against Covid-19, the vast majority of hospital admissions and deaths occur in people who have not yet received a Covid vaccination, White House officials said Thursday.
“Virtually all Covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths in the United States now occur in unvaccinated people,” Jeff Zients, White House coordinator of the coronavirus response, said at a news conference. He said the cases will continue to increase, especially in unvaccinated people, especially as the Delta variant hits the US
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Covid vaccines currently in use are proving successful in preventing serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths from the Delta variant.
Cases are still rising: the seven-day moving average of new cases rose to 13,900 per day, an 11% increase from the previous week, Walensky said.
However, recent data shows that “the vaccines are actually effective against the Delta variant,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Officer of the White House, in the meeting.
“The bottom line is that there is simply no reason that people 12 years and older should be seriously affected by this virus,” said Zients.
Federal officials are increasingly seeing outbreaks in communities with low vaccination rates, they said.
Walensky said the Delta variant now accounts for about 80% of all new cases in parts of the Midwest and upper mountain states, according to early CDC data.
“This rapid increase is worrying. We know that the Delta variant has increased the portability and is currently appearing in the country’s pockets with low vaccination rates,” said Walensky at the briefing.
The remarks came as President Joe Biden’s Covid team focused on the portion of the population that had not yet been vaccinated.
Millions of people in the US remain unvaccinated, “and because of this, their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people they care about are at risk,” Biden said Tuesday. He said the government is focusing more on increasing vaccination availability in places like doctor’s offices and workplaces while expanding door-to-door contact efforts.
The Delta variant, first discovered in India, has now spread to more than 100 countries, including the USA, according to the World Health Organization.
The highly transferable variant is expected to have global effects for the foreseeable future, scientists predict.
The Olympic organizers announced on Thursday that they would be banning all spectators from the Games this year in Japan, which has just declared a new Covid-related state of emergency in Tokyo, partly due to the Delta variant.
Almost 158 million people in the US are fully vaccinated – about 48% of the population, according to CDC data. Just over 67% of Americans 18 and older have received at least one dose.
– CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.