COVID-19 cases have tripled in the United States in two weeks amid a flood of misinformation about vaccines, which is putting pressure on hospitals and exhausting doctors.
Miami World / telemundo51
“Our staff is frustrated,” said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, a Florida hospital that has had to cancel surgeries and other procedures after the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, mostly unvaccinated, rose to 134 at its two branches, down from a low of 16 in mid-May.
“They are tired. They are thinking that this is something that they have already been through, and there is some anger because we know that this is a largely preventable situation, and people are not taking advantage of the vaccine, “he said.
THERE IS AN AVALANCHE OF DISINFORMATION ON VACCINES
Across the United States, the seven-day moving average of daily new cases rose over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 on Tuesday, down from less than 13,700 on July 6, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Health authorities blame the rebound on the delta variant and the slowdown in inoculation rates.
Just 56.2% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Louisiana, health authorities reported 5,388 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the third highest daily number since the pandemic began in the United States in January 2020.
Utah reported 295 people hospitalized for the coronavirus, the highest number since February.
The state has averaged about 622 confirmed cases a day over the past week, roughly triple the infection rate it had at its lowest point in the pandemic in early June. Health data shows that the rebound is almost entirely linked to people who are not vaccinated.
“It’s like watching a car accident before it happens,” said Dr. James Williams, associate professor of emergency clinical medicine at Texas Tech, who recently began treating more COVID-19 patients. “None of us want to go through this again.”
He said the patients are younger – many of them in their 20s and 40s – and the vast majority are not vaccinated.
In his role as senior pastor of one of Missouri’s largest churches, Jeremy Johnson has heard the reasons why parishioners do not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He wants them to know that it is not only okay to get vaccinated, but that it is what the Bible calls for.
“I think fear plays a big role,” said Johnson, whose Springfield-based church also has a campus in Nixa and another about to open at Republic.
“Fear of trusting something other than scripture, fear of trusting something other than a political party with which they feel more comfortable. Fear of trusting science. We hear that: ‘I trust God, not science.’ But the truth is that science and God are not something one has to choose between.
In New York City, workers at hospitals and health clinics operated by the entity will need to be vaccinated or tested for coronavirus every week as authorities are battling a spike in COVID-19 cases, it said Wednesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor’s order does not apply to teachers, police officers and other city employees, but it is part of the intense attention the city is giving to vaccines amid a surge in delta infections.