The U.S. has reached President Joe Biden’s goal of at least 70 percent of American adults receiving at least one COVID-19 shot.
The news comes amid a surge in the delta variant of the virus and as many states and cities are looking to reinstate mask rules and vaccination requirements.
“As quickly as we can discharge them, they’re coming in, and they’re coming in very sick. We started seeing entire families come down,” lamented Dr. Sergio Segarra, chief medical officer of Baptist Hospital Miami.
Biden had hoped to reach the 70 percent vaccination goal by the Fourth of July. The number was a lowball estimate of what some health experts and government officials said would be necessary to achieve herd immunity, but the delta variant has experts changing their estimates.
Biden also set a goal for July 4 to fully vaccinate 165 million American adults. That goal is about 8.5 million short.
The delta variant is largely to blame for an increase in the past month to an average of 80,000 new cases per day in the U.S., a level the country hasn’t seen since mid-February.
According to The Associated Press, nearly all deaths and serious illnesses are in unvaccinated people.
The state of Louisiana has already ordered nearly everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks in all indoor public settings. This week, San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties announced they would also reinstate mask requirements for everyone in public indoor spaces.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York City airport and transit workers will be required to be vaccinated or face weekly testing. The mayor of Denver also said the city would require city officials, such as police officers and firefighters, to get vaccinated.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a nationwide vaccination requirement “is not on the table,” but said employers have the right to make it a requirement for employment.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Ridofranz
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.