The director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has said that Covid-19 is becoming a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” as the White House revealed one in five of all cases in the country are occurring in Florida
During a White House coronavirus briefing on Friday, Doctor Rochelle Walensky said: “There is a clear message that is coming through. This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
She continued: “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage because unvaccinated people are at risk.”
“Communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well,” Dr Walensky said. The doctor explained that counties with low vaccination rates have seen hiked transmission over the last month.
It was during the same briefing that Jeff Zients, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator, revealed that one in five of all cases in the country is occurring in Florida alone.
The state has seen more than two million cases of the novel coronavirus and almost 40,000 deaths. According to Our World in Data, around 47 per cent of people in Florida have been fully vaccinated.
“In fact, just four states accounted for more than 40 per cent of all cases in the past week,” Mr Zients said.
The increase in cases comes amid the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant, which Dr Walensky has previously warned may soon become the dominant strain in the US.
While infection rates have dropped to low levels across the US in recent weeks prompting a number of states to fully re-open their economies, the Delta variant is causing spikes in concentrated areas.
A CNBC analysis published this week showed 463 counties across the United States with high rates of infection and that the majority of those counties had (80 per cent) have vaccinated less than 40 per cent.
Spikes have also been witnessed in more rural areas of the country, including Kansas and Missouri. The latest CDC data show Missouri currently has the highest percentage of the variant at 74.6 per cent.
The CDC director said that the evidence of rising transmission as a result of Delta made the need for Americans to get vaccinated all the more clear, urging those who have not to get their shots.
“While we are in a far better position than we were in January through April this increase [in transmission] is giving us all a reason to double down and get more people vaccinated,” Dr Walensky said.
The variant, which was first detected in India, has been ruled a variant of concern by the CDC and is thought to be between 40 per cent and 80 per cent than the previous dominant strain in the US known as Alpha.
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