New COVID-19 cases are spiking nationwide in the US, accelerated by the more transmissible Delta variant and a decline in vaccinations — adding fears of a virus resurgence as President Biden pleads with unvaccinated Americans to get the jab.
An average of 32,387 new coronavirus cases were reported each day over the past week — more than double what the seven-day average was 10 days earlier, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
Hospitalizations due to the virus have also increased — up 35.8 percent between July 7 and 13 compared to the previous seven days, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Deaths, which can lag behind other indicators, rose too — up 25 percent last week, reaching an average of 250 per day, according to a Reuters analysis.
However, deaths from the virus have declined substantially since reaching a peak of some 4,400 fatalities in a single day in January, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
“If you’re unvaccinated, you are not protected,” president Biden told reporters. “So please, please get vaccinated now. It works. It’s safe, it’s free, it’s convenient. You know? This virus doesn’t have to hold you back any longer.”
The president's comments come as the rate of vaccinations has slowed down across the country — and medical experts warn of the highly contagious Delta variant.
The mutation, which first emerged in India last year, now accounts for most cases of the virus in the US, according to the CDC.
Meanwhile, fewer than 400,000 Americans are currently getting their first vaccine dose daily — down from a high of more than two million a day in April.
More than 90 million of those eligible have not gotten a dose, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Epidemiologists told the Wall Street Journal that the rise in cases and hospitalizations across the US has been more severe in states with lower vaccination rates.
Nationwide, under half (48 percent) of the population is fully vaccinated, CDC data shows, while only just over half (56 percent) have gotten at least one shot.
Just 38 percent of people ages 18 to 29 received at least one dose — the lowest rate of any group, according to a CDC report last month cited by the Wall Street Journal. Elderly Americans had the highest rate at 80 percent, the report found. Read the full article from the New York Post here.