But the nation’s leaders continue to have conflicting ideas on how to fight this enemy.
We’ve written many times before about the divide between the red and blue states in the fight against the pandemic – usually about masks and vaccines.
The latest news deserves to be revisited.
A new requirement. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that by December 27, private employers must implement a requirement that their staff be vaccinated. It tries to penalize employers who don’t enforce the requirement – a step beyond measures passed by 22 states that require vaccines for a mix of healthcare and public sector workers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Something is working. we Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a noticeable increase in vaccinations in recent times. Two months ago, less than a million doses were given each day on average, according to the CDC. A month ago, that figure was around 1.3 million doses. Today it is around 2.3 million.
Learn more about the New York requirement. There are looming questions about Blasio’s plan presented on Monday.
- First, the mayor is only in office for a few more weeks, and his successor, mayor-elect Eric Adams, is overseas and has not made a commitment to implement the plan.
- Penalties for non-compliance have not been determined and will be announced in more detail on December 15.
- It is not known how companies will certify that their employees have been vaccinated. One thing that many employers probably don’t want is to be the immunization police.
New York City is already a highly vaccinated place. According to the city health department, 70% of the city’s total population are fully vaccinated, and an additional 8% have received a dose, compared to 60% of the US population fully vaccinated.
Perhaps considering closures in Europe, de Blasio said vaccines need to be as universal as possible.
“We need to take very bold action. We are seeing restrictions start to come back. We are seeing closures, ”he said. “We cannot let these restrictions come back. We can’t have closures in New York. “
Florida is more vaccinated than many states. At 62%, Florida’s vaccination rate is higher than the national average, but that includes both heavily vaccinated places in South Florida – Miami-Dade County is 79% fully vaccinated – and places in the northern part of the state who are well under 50% vaccinated.
This is a trend that is repeated across the country. In fact, look at these two maps: the 2020 Election Map and CNN’s current immunization map, which includes state-level data.
They are very similar. Blue states that voted for President Joe Biden are typically over 60% vaccinated. The Red States that chose former President Donald Trump are generally below this average.
Florida and Wisconsin, battlegrounds at the political level, are exceptions on the vaccine. They voted for Trump but have vaccination rates over 60%.
Other battlefields, such as Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia, are also exceptions. They switched to Biden, but their vaccination rates are below 60%.
Above. The opinion of some of the country’s most conservative politicians, like Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, is that Covid-19 is in the rearview mirror.
“The real America is done with # COVID19,” Jordan tweeted last week. “The only people who don’t understand this are Fauci and Biden. “
He later described public health policy during the pandemic as a “two-year attack on our freedoms.”
Over the weekend, CNN’s Phil Mattingly gathered maps of cases and hospitalizations that show Covid-19 is anything but gone.
The pandemic is now undeniably affecting the least vaccinated regions of the country more than the vaccinated parts.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips last week examined the risk of dying from Covid-19 across the United States.
Since vaccines became widely available, the average risk of dying from Covid-19 is more than 50% higher in states that voted for President Trump in 2020 than in states that voted for President Biden, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
In the first 11 months of the pandemic -om the initial wave to the winter 2020 wave, before vaccines were widely available – the average death rate from Covid-19 was roughly the same depending on the party . Until the end of January 2021, states that voted for Trump in the 2020 election recorded an average of 128 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people, while states that voted for Biden recorded an average of 127 deaths. of Covid-19 per 100,000 people.
More context: Since February 1, the Red States have recorded an average of 116 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people, which is 52% more than the average of 77 deaths per 100,000 people in the Blue States. The five states with the worst per capita death rates at that time all voted for Trump in 2020: Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
The gap is even more pronounced at the county level, according to a recent Washington Post analysis.
What explains the current increase in the number of cases? This is not the Omicron variant. At least not yet. The vast majority of new cases in the United States continue to be caused by the Delta variant.
The increase is clear.
- The average number of daily deaths has risen to 1,651.
- More than 59,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with Covid-19.
- Hospitalizations have been increasing for more than three weeks.
Read CNN’s latest report on Covid-19 cases.
New travel restrictions took effect on Monday. International travelers must provide negative Covid-19 tests within one day of leaving for the United States.
Foreign nationals must be fully vaccinated to enter the country.
There is no vaccine requirement for domestic travel, but White House officials have not ruled out the idea.
Elsewhere, some large companies are rethinking their return-to-work plans. Ford factory workers have been back online since May 2020, but the company said on Monday it would delay again – to March – the date for 30,000 workers to return to the office.
Everyone needs to broaden their goal. CNN’s Rob Picheta writes that the pandemic is a global problem and the solution – which almost surely involves vaccines that make Covid-19 like the common cold – is not being addressed globally.
I’ll put up with it. This newsletter devotes much more time to differences in immunization rates in the United States, but the disparity is much greater between high-income countries and low-income countries, where access to vaccines is poor. still not enough.