While the Delta variant continued to be torn apart by U.S. regions, the Oregon governor said he would send up to 1,500 National Guard soldiers to help hospital workers pushed to the limit by an increase in cases, while the White House announced that only Texas and Florida accounted for nearly 40 percent of Covid’s new hospitalizations in the U.S. last week.
Democrat Kate Brown said troops would be sent to 20 hospitals across the state. Seven hundred and thirty-three 733 people were hospitalized in Oregon as of Friday, including 185 people in intensive care units, 60 more than a day earlier and nearly twice as many as two weeks ago.
Brown said: “I cannot stress enough the severity of this crisis for all Oregonians, especially those in need of emergency and intensive care. When our hospitals are full of patients with Covid-19, it may not be there. there is room for someone who needs care after a car accident, a heart attack or any other emergency situation. “
In the deep southern states of Louisiana and Mississippi, among the most vaccinated populations in the country, hospitals reached their capacity this week as deaths began to rise and health officials warned that the crisis would deepen next week. coming.
Only seven states, including Alabama, Arkansas, and Missouri, accounted for about half of Covid’s hospitalizations in the U.S. despite accounting for about a quarter of the population, according to White House coronavirus task force coordinator Jeff Zients .
All seven states have vaccination rates well below the national average.
In Oregon, the Delta variant now accounts for 96% of all tested samples, up from just 15% six weeks ago, according to state data.
Brown, the governor, said: “The harsh and frustrating reality is that the Delta variant has changed everything.”
During Thursday’s statements, Joe Biden praised front-line health workers struggling with Covid’s growing patient population.
“You know, our health workers are heroes,” the president said. “They were the heroes when there was no vaccine. Many of them gave their lives trying to save others. And they become heroes again with a vaccine. They are doing everything possible to care for people who refuse to be vaccinated to unvaccinated people who are hospitalized and who die as a result of not being vaccinated. “
The comments came when the federal government authorized third doses of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines for certain people with a weakened immune system, ensuring that the vast majority of people who had received two shots were still fully protected. The movement follows similar announcements in France, Germany and Israel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2.7% of American adults are immunocompromised, including organ transplant recipients, certain cancer patients, and those with HIV.
“The current action allows doctors to increase immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need additional protection against Covid-19. As we said earlier, other people who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine. this time, ”said Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock.
Despite the crisis of the Delta variant, the Biden administration has found itself in an escalation of words with some Republican state leaders, who have tried to ban the use of masks in the areas most affected by the rising cases. .
Florida Gov. Ron De Santis, an ardent conservative who has tried to falsely link the rise in Covid cases to immigration on the U.S. southern border, has issued a statewide order banning masks despite the cases. on the rise and has threatened to financially penalize local school leaders. if they intend to impose their own mandates.
In turn, the Biden administration has said it is exploring ways to compensate schools that implement mandates, amid the setback of some of the state’s largest school districts.
On Thursday, Biden addressed the issue directly during his statements and stated, “To mayors, school superintendents, educators, local leaders who advocate for governors by politicizing the protection of the mask for our children – thank God … Thank God that we have heroes like you, and I am with all of you. “