Within the month of August, the US has to date reported greater than 1.5 million new instances of Covid-19, greater than 3 times the numbers for Iran and India — which now maintain second and third place, JHU knowledge reveals. And the seven-day common has topped greater than 135,000 instances, nicely forward of different nations.
On a state-by-state comparability, Louisiana has the very best fee of recent instances per capita, adopted by Florida.
“That is how badly issues have gotten out of hand. There’s a screaming stage of transmission throughout the southern states proper now. And now we’re beginning to see this occurring amongst youthful age teams,” Hotez mentioned.
The surge has been fueled by the extra contagious coronavirus Delta variant, overwhelming hospitals throughout the nation.
In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards mentioned hospitalizations hit a pandemic file excessive of at the least 2,907 sufferers, up by six folks from a day earlier.
“They are not simply the very best that they’ve ever been. They’re nearly a 3rd greater than at every other level on this pandemic. Our hospitals are struggling. Workers stays the limiting issue on capability. Our workers at our hospitals, nurses and medical doctors and respiratory therapists and doctor’s assistants, you title it, they’re maxed out,” the governor mentioned Friday.
Edwards mentioned state hospital leaders are frightened in regards to the surges.
“I’ll let you know that I’ve by no means heard them specific extra concern, extra alarm, or nervousness than they did this week, as a result of we’re quickly approaching the breaking level,” Edwards added.
And in Alabama, there may be an alarming uptick of infants in addition to youngsters hospitalized with Covid-19, in response to Dr. David Kimberlin, the director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Illnesses on the College of Alabama in Birmingham.
“We’re seeing quite a lot of youngsters who’re very, very sick admitted to our hospital. We have now nearly twice as many proper now as we did on the earlier worst a part of this pandemic, which was in all probability in January,” Kimberlin informed CNN’s Erin Burnett Friday.
“These youngsters are coming in preventing for breath, preventing for the power to principally get by means of this devastating sickness, a lot of them are on ventilators, possibly 1 / 4 or so on ventilators or heart-lung bypass machines,” he mentioned.
He added that as youngsters return to lecture rooms, “it is critically vital that everybody in colleges masks, whether or not you are vaccinated or not.”
“I feel probably the most environment friendly approach to try this is to have a mandate, to have a requirement … that everyone wants to take action. And it saddens me that we appear to be preventing about the best way we go about doing it. All of us should — and I wish to imagine that we do — have our personal youngsters’s greatest curiosity at coronary heart. We received to do that for them.”
State and native officers spar over masks and vaccine mandates
However masking youngsters in colleges has turn into more and more polarizing, particularly in states the place vaccination charges are lagging and Covid-19 infections in addition to hospitalizations proceed to extend.
President Joe Biden spoke with faculty superintendents from Arizona and Florida on Friday to thank them for maintaining their college students protected regardless of “dangerous public well being measures” taken by governors, in response to a White Home official.
Republican Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas have issued government orders that ban masks mandates of their states. DeSantis, nevertheless, went a step additional and threatened to withhold the salaries of superintendents and college board members who disregard his order.
On Friday, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki criticized DeSantis.
“As a mother or father myself of two younger youngsters… I need public well being officers to make selections about tips on how to preserve my children protected, not politicians,” Psaki mentioned at a press briefing.
“Not solely is Governor DeSantis not abiding by public well being selections, he is fundraising off of this.”
The Texas Courtroom of Appeals on Friday dominated in opposition to Abbott, upholding that masks mandates could stay in Bexar and Dallas counties. Abbott had requested the appeals court docket to remain rulings from two decrease courts that determined masks mandates in these counties might be efficient, regardless of the governor’s government order banning masks mandates.
In Arizona, schooling teams are suing the state for banning public colleges from imposing masks and vaccine mandates.
The Arizona Faculty Boards Affiliation, the Arizona Training Affiliation and different advocacy teams filed the lawsuit Thursday, arguing that the brand new legal guidelines favor personal colleges over public districts as a result of they do not apply to personal colleges.
“College students in Arizona’s public and constitution colleges will likely be much less protected of their instructional setting than college students in personal colleges,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit seeks to overturn the bans on mandates. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Legal professional Basic Mark Brnovich didn’t reply to requests for remark Friday.
“This legislative session was unprecedented. The legislature enacted substantive legal guidelines in price range reconciliation payments with out discover to the general public and on topics which might be fully unrelated to 1 one other,” plaintiffs’ lawyer Roopali H. Desai mentioned in a written assertion supplied to CNN.
third dose for immunocompromised isn’t a “booster” shot, professional says
In the meantime, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a further third dose to be administered to folks with compromised immune programs.
And on Friday, vaccine advisers to the CDC voted unanimously to advocate the extra dose for some immunocompromised folks. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky rapidly endorsed the vote, which suggests folks can start getting third doses instantly.
On Friday, Michael Osterholm, the director of the Middle for Infectious Illness Analysis and Coverage on the College of Minnesota, mentioned it is vital to not confuse that third dose with a “booster” shot.
“These are actually about ending a main sequence. Take into consideration childhood immunizations. We have now vaccines for which we want three or 4 doses. What we discovered right here is that the immune-compromised typically did not mount an sufficient response in any respect. So we’re nonetheless attempting to construct that. That’s totally different than a booster dose the place somebody did reply and actually over time that wanes,” Osterholm informed CNN. “I feel it was an excellent choice.”
At a gathering of CDC vaccine advisers, Dr. Heather Scobie mentioned a disproportionate variety of vaccine breakthroughs are amongst immunocompromised folks. Nearly one-third — 32% — of vaccinated breakthrough instances are amongst that group, she mentioned.
Whereas immune-compromised folks make up about 2.7% of the grownup inhabitants — about 7 million folks — they’re extra susceptible to an infection, mentioned Dr. Amanda Cohn, the manager secretary of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
She mentioned vaccine effectiveness is about 59% to 72% in immunocompromised folks, in comparison with 90% to 94% total.
“Immunocompromised persons are extra more likely to get severely unwell from Covid-19. They’re at greater danger for extended SARS-CoV-2 an infection and shedding and viral evolution throughout the an infection and remedy, notably amongst hospitalized sufferers,” Cohn mentioned.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Jason Hoffman, Virginia Langmaid, Rebekah Riess, Deanna Hackney, Andy Rose and Lauren Mascarenhas contributed to this report.