Dr. Fauci Just Said He's Worried About This State
This marks the eighth straight week of rising COVID rates in this area.
With the help of the highly contagious Delta variant, COVID cases have soared in several states across the nation in recent weeks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), new coronavirus cases in the U.S. have risen by roughly 100,000 per day since one month ago. The health authority's most recent data from Aug. 13 puts new daily cases at 141,397, compared with 42,399 new daily cases recorded on Jul. 15. Unfortunately, there's no sign that the trend will slow down or reverse any time soon.
While this staggering surge should have all of us on high alert, White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, says that certain states' COVID rates are particularly disquieting—and one state's numbers are downright concerning. Read on to find out which state Fauci says is worrying him most, and how he's suggesting we turn it around.
Dr. Fauci says he's "concerned about all of Florida."
Though serious COVID surges are happening across the nation, Fauci is sounding the alarm about one place in particular: Florida. The state has just concluded its eighth straight week of increasing COVID cases in a steeply upward trajectory that's alarming experts.
"I am concerned about all of Florida," Fauci told Local 10 News, citing "the rate of increase, the inflection of increase, [and] the number of cases" as the source of his worry. "If Florida was a country it would be one of the worse countries when it comes to the increase in cases," he added.
The state's case count has risen astronomically in recent weeks.
It seems Fauci's concern is well-founded, given the recent rise in COVID cases within the state. Data released on Thursday by the CDC revealed that the state recorded 23,933 new daily cases that day. The COVID test positivity rate was 19.3 percent.
"In the past week, Florida has had more COVID cases than all 30 states with the lowest case rates combined," White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said on Thursday during a White House press briefing.
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Deaths and hospitalizations have risen significantly, as well.
This past week, Florida reported 286 deaths, according to the state health department's COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report. In total, that brings the state's COVID death rate to 40,766 lives lost. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have also skyrocketed in the Sunshine State, and Bloomberg reports that hospitalization rates among Floridian seniors are as high as they were in January.
"What this underscores is the degree to which there is so much more transmission with the Delta variant," Florida-based epidemiologist Jason Salemi, PhD, MPH, told the publication. "When you have spread that is that pronounced, it is going to find those vulnerable people." he warned.
Fauci is "pleading" with Floridians to get the COVID vaccine.
In response to the state's rising case counts, Fauci is once again urging the public to become vaccinated against the disease. "I am essentially pleading with people in Florida to realize that there is a solution to this problem," he told Local 10 News. Currently, about 65 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated, according to the state's most recent Weekly Situation Report.
Fauci stressed that the individual choices of the public will have a massive effect on how and whether we recover from the present surges in coming months. "When you get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated—and we don't know what that threshold is—the virus will disappear, and then we won't need to worry about it, at least in this country," Fauci told USA Today earlier this week. "If you don't do that, you will get a smoldering level of infection that will just go right into the fall, get confused with influenza in the winter, and then come back again in the spring," he warned.