Seven U.S. states with the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates account for half of the country’s new cases and hospitalizations in the last week, the White House said on Thursday.
The states are Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, according to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 coordinator, Jeff Zients, who spoke on a press briefing.
Of those, Florida and Texas account for about a third of new coronavirus cases and an even higher share of hospitalizations in the country.
The Biden administration has been eager to thaw opposition by some Americans, including those who distrust the government, to taking the vaccine as the highly infectious Delta variant sweeps the country.
COVID cases are up about 43% over the previous week and daily deaths are up more than 39%, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who also spoke on the call.
The United States hit a six-month high for new COVID cases with over 100,000 infections https://reut.rs/3lA9CmE reported on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally.
Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters that he credits the administration of Republican former President Donald Trump for helping to develop the vaccine. Biden is a Democrat.
“We give credit to the Trump administration for doing this,” said Fauci.
Some 864,000 vaccinations have been given in the past 24 hours, the highest since early July, the White House said.