The spread of the Delta variant in relatively unvaccinated areas of the United States is worsening.
Nationally, the number of new cases of Covid-19 is holding steady. But this stability hides two realities of duel, in two different Americas.
In many urban and suburban communities, Covid continues to fall. The daily rate of new cases has fallen below three per 100,000 residents in major cities such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington. By comparison, the national rate of new daily cases peaked last winter at above 75 per 100,000 people.
But in less populated areas – which tend to be more politically conservative and skeptical of vaccines – the virus is now making a comeback, in large part due to the contagious Delta variant. The red states with the worst epidemics are Arkansas and Missouri (each with more than 16 new daily cases per 100,000 population), followed by Florida (10), Nevada (10), Wyoming (nine) and the ‘Utah (eight).
If these outbreaks were concentrated in younger people, that would be less of a concern, as Covid, including the Delta variant, is extremely mild on children and young adults. Yet even many middle-aged and older adults are not vaccinated in some parts of the United States. As a result, they catch the virus and some die.
There is a clear relationship between a red state’s Covid death rate over the past week and its overall vaccination rate:
(You can search for data for any state here.)
The biggest tragedy is that this situation is preventable. Highly effective vaccines are available to virtually any American adult who wants one – a privilege residents of many other countries do not have. Hundreds of clinics in the United States, including in rural communities, offer immediate walk-in injections.
Still, only 54 percent of adults in rural areas have received at least one shot of the vaccine, according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey, compared to 72 percent of city dwellers. Kaiser found that vaccination rates were also lower than average for Americans under 50; Black Americans; Republicans; and people without a university degree.
“It’s the unvaccinated people who die,” Mississippi public health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs said, according to WLBT television station. “Unvaccinated people who go to the hospital. Most unvaccinated people who are diagnosed. “
Tricia Jones, a 45-year-old mother of two in Grain Valley, a small town in western Missouri, did not receive the vaccine because she was worried about side effects. Her mother, Deborah Carmichael, had felt ill after receiving an injection, and Jones decided to wait.
This spring Jones caught the virus. She was hospitalized on May 13 and died on June 9. Now, as Sherae Honeycutt of Fox4 in Kansas City writes:
Her family pray that people will see Tricia’s life as a call to action to get the vaccine – if not for themselves, for those they love. “Please take this seriously. You don’t want to see a loved one in your family go through this, ”Carmichael said. “You have a much better chance of doing well than if you don’t. “
“I really miss you. I miss you a lot”, Adriana [Jones’s 18-year-old daughter] mentionned.
Marc Johnson, an immunologist at the University of Missouri, told the Missouri Independent that he expected the state’s epidemic to continue to worsen for much of July. In some communities, the Delta variant only arrived recently, suggesting a ramp-up to come.
Despite the increase in the number of cases and deaths, many Republican politicians have refused to make a tough call for vaccination. Instead, lawmakers in the state of Missouri have warned hospitals not to require employees to be vaccinated. And Governor Mike Parson has sent mixed messages.
“You’re going to have to take responsibility, take the vaccine, if you want to,” Parson said last week. “But you know, I think it’s important to understand that there is a risk involved.”
A few Republican governors have taken a different approach. “We are in a race against this Delta variant,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said on Sunday. “The solution is vaccines. West Virginia Governor Jim Justice was more blunt: Anyone who is not vaccinated, he said, has entered “the lottery of death.”
To reach unvaccinated Americans, President Biden said the government would set up workplace clinics and urge employers to offer paid time off.
THE LAST NEWS
New York Mayor’s Race
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President and former police officer, beat Kathryn Garcia in the Democratic New York Mayor’s primary, according to the Associated Press.
Adams – whose anti-crime message has resonated with working-class voters – is a big favorite to win the general election and become the city’s second black mayor.
Adams has led the main tally since election night, though his lead has narrowed with each new ranked pick tally. He is now ahead of Garcia by 1 percentage point.
The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has increased by almost $ 1 over the past year. Oil production, which slowed during the pandemic, failed to keep pace with demand.
The death toll in a building collapse in Florida last month remains uncertain – it is likely between 100 and 150 – as authorities do not know how many residents were there at the time.
Tropical Storm Elsa will make landfall today on the Gulf Coast of northern Florida, forecasters say.
Last month was the hottest June on record in North America, more than 2 degrees warmer than the recent average.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Times Magazine writer, will join Howard University faculty, rejecting an offer from the University of North Carolina after a dispute over her tenure status.
To fight against economic inequalities, crack down on tax havens, Gabriel Zucman and Gus Wezerek Argue.
China won’t bury us, Bret stephens written.
A successful duo draws on “newstalgia”
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have been shaping pop music for almost 40 years. A sample of songs they wrote or produced: “Nasty” by Janet Jackson, “Human” by Human League, “Monkey” by George Michael and “U Remind Me” by Usher.
The pair are responsible for blows “strong enough to rip a body off and turn it into a Gyratron,” writes Wesley Morris in The Times. Often dressed in matching suits, fedoras and sunglasses, Jam and Lewis first met as middle school kids. “They get along better than a married couple,” Jackson said.
Now they are releasing their debut album under their names, “Jam & Lewis Volume One” which features Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men and more.
Jam describes the album as “newstalgia” – a mix of old-school and contemporary sounds. “It’s that feeling you get when you hear something new,” he said, “it’s exciting, but it brings you back to a very comfortable and reassuring place.”
Read the rest of the story (and listen to a playlist of their successes). – Sanam Yar, a morning writer
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was ennoblement. Here is today’s puzzle – or you can play it online.
Here are today’s mini crosswords and a clue: surfer’s meeting place (five letters).
If you want to play more, find all of our games here.
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David
Clarification: Yesterday’s newsletter said Stephen Breyer was the Democrat-appointed Supreme Court justice who most often sided with businesses rather than workers or consumers. Lately he has voted in the same way on these issues as Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
PS President Ronald Reagan named Sandra Day O’Connor as his choice to become the country’s first female judge 40 years ago today.
This is the first page printed today.
“The Daily” is about a divisive new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Lalena Fisher, Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Sanam Yar have contributed to The Morning. You can join the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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