Nearly 44 percent of all reported U.S. coronavirus cases in the last week have come from just five states: New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The surge in cases comes at a pivotal moment in the country’s battle against the coronavirus as states work to ramp up vaccination efforts to avoid another wave of infection. The figures underscore the problems in those communities and the dangers of COVID-19 variants.
The U.S. had 452,825 coronavirus infections reported throughout the United States in the past week, according to state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly 197,500 cases can be traced back to New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. That’s 43.6 percent of all cases.
This trend was first reported by The Associated Press on Monday.
These five states, the AP noted, account for just 22 percent of the U.S. population.
Michigan, according to the AP, recorded the highest rate of new infections in the past two weeks. The wire service reported that the seven-day average of new cases in Michigan reached 6,719 on Sunday, which is more than double what it was two weeks prior.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerUniversity of Michigan regent, who chairs state GOP, censured over ‘witches’ comment Whitmer criticizes GOP election reform in video featuring Fauci pillow Overnight Health Care: White House asks governors for help with J&J vaccine | FDA authorizes two rapid, at-home tests | Michigan identifies first case of Brazilian COVID variant as virus surges MORE, however, signaled that she is not likely to tighten restrictions amid the surge, the AP noted. She instead blamed the increase in numbers on pandemic fatigue and more contagious variants.
Additionally, New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoWealthy New Yorkers to pay highest combined US tax rate under budget deal Gaetz defends himself: I’m ‘not a monk’ Democratic governors urge Biden to remove SALT cap MORE (D) and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), have not publicly asked the federal government for more vaccines amid the surge in cases, The AP reported.
Murphy, the wire service noted, has said he is continuously talking to the White House about the demand for the vaccine, but he has not mentioned any lobbying efforts.
New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioYang returns to campaign trail following kidney stone Yang hospitalized with apparent kidney stone Nearly a dozen correction officers injured in inmate attack at Rikers Island MORE (D), on the other hand, has consistently pleaded publicly for the need for more vaccine in the city, the AP noted.
Across the country, more than 75 percent of people ages 65 and older have received at least one vaccine shot, in addition to more than 40 percent of all adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A majority of states have now opened vaccine eligibility to all adults, after President BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden’s surprising presidency The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden, McConnell agree on vaccines, clash over infrastructure Republican battle with MLB intensifies MORE set a May 1 deadline for all adults to be eligible for innoculation. On Tuesday, Biden moved that target date up to April 19.
Also on Tuesday, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: 46 COVID-19 cases linked to one indoor bar event in rural Illinois | CDC says risk of COVID-19 transmission on surfaces 1 in 10,000 | Fauci suggests no federal mandate on vaccine passports Twitter says it mistakenly suspended Marjorie Taylor Greene account for second time Fauci says federal government won’t mandate vaccine passports MORE tamped down on fears of another wave of the coronavirus hitting the U.S., telling MSNBC “As long as we keep vaccinating people efficiently and effectively, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”
“That doesn’t mean that we’re not going to still see an increase in cases,” Fauci added.
Medical experts, however, are still urging governors to maintain mitigation precautions for a little while longer, including mask wearing, distancing from others, and avoiding crowds.