US in ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ says CDC leader

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FILE – In this May 19, 2021 file photo, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Biden administration has extended the nationwide ban on evictions for a month to help tenants who are unable to make rent payments during the coronavirus pandemic but says this is expected to be the last time it does so. Walensky extended the evictions moratorium from June 30 until July 31. The CDC said Thursday it’s “intended to be the final extension of the moratorium.” (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. is becoming “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Speaking during a White House briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky says cases in the U.S. are up about 70% over the last week, hospital admissions are up 36% and deaths rose by 26%. Nearly all hospital admissions and deaths, she says, are among the unvaccinated.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients echoed the pandemic is “one that predominantly threatens unvaccinated people.”

He says the Biden administration expects cases to increase in the weeks ahead because of spread in communities with low vaccination rates. Four states accounted for 40% of new cases last week, with one in five coming from Florida.

But Zients says there are signs that increased cases are driving more people in those communities to seek vaccination at rates faster than the national average.

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