Concerns about the current increased infection rate in the United States for the coronavirus Delta variant It is sparking more calls for the unvaccinated to be beaten and causing officials to reconsider the path to post-pandemic normalcy.
As the US has seen mask mandates relaxed or removed and efforts to reopen business and travel, the current spike in COVID cases is now resulting in more caution and, in some cases, more restrictions.
A group of more than 50 healthcare organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, called for mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers on Monday.
“Due to the recent rise in COVID-19 and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our healthcare organizations and societies advocate that all healthcare and long-term care employers require that their workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine.” the groups said. in a sentence.
“This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health workers to put patients first, as well as residents of long-term care centers, and take all necessary measures to guarantee their health and well-being.”
His request for mandatory jabs comes after a report last week from ProPublica that only 59 percent of nursing home and long-term care facility workers are vaccinated.
Blaming the unvaccinated
“We are heading in the wrong direction,” said America’s leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, saying On Sunday about the recent increase in cases and pointed the finger directly at those who have not yet received a vaccine.
“If you look at the inflection of the curve of new infections … it is among the unvaccinated and since we have 50 percent of the country it is not fully vaccinated, that is a problem,” he added.
Coronavirus vaccines are widely available in the US, and just under 60 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated, and 68.8 percent of adults have received at least one dose, according to the Centers. for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the USA. data.
The steepest increases in COVID-19 infections occur in places with lower vaccination rates. Florida, Texas and Missouri account for 40 percent of all new cases nationwide, and about one in five of all new cases occur in Florida, White House aide Jeffrey Zients said last week.
In Alabama, a state where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the United States, Gov. Kay Ivey lashed out last week at people who refuse to get vaccinated, according to local media.
“People are supposed to have common sense,” said Ivey, a Republican who has refused to demand masks. “It is time to start blaming unvaccinated people, not normal people. It is the unvaccinated who let us down. “
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that the city will require all of its municipal workers, including teachers and police officers, to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by September 13 or face weekly COVID tests. .
While they fall short of the required jabs (no worker will ever be forced to give an injection), officials hope the inconvenience and discomfort of weekly testing will convince many to overcome a reluctance to get vaccinated.
“It’s about our recovery. It’s about what we have to do to take back New York City, ”de Blasio said. “It’s about keeping people safe.
The Delta variant is deadly and this city is taking it seriously. Today I am announcing that ALL city government employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination or submit a # COVID-19 proof. Join us at Bronx Borough Hall to learn more. #InTheBronx https://t.co/G9YsQCmNBP
– Major Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 26, 2021
In St Louis, Missouri, a countywide mask mandate went into effect Monday, requiring most people, regardless of their immunization status, to wear a mask indoors and on public transportation.
The San Luis mandate comes a week after Los Angeles, California, reinstated its mask requirement. In addition, the top public health official in King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle, last week asked everyone to wear masks in closed public spaces, even if they are vaccinated.
While local officials in St. Louis argue that they are reinstating the mandate due to the current surge in the Delta variant, others are actively fighting the new restrictions.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for the United States Senate, is among several elected officials who pledged to stop the mandate, saying it violates individual freedoms.
The citizens of St. Louis and the county of St. Louis are not subjects, they are free people. As your Attorney General, I will file a lawsuit on Monday to stop this insanity. # COVID-19 https://t.co/30RwiyS9Mr
– Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) July 24, 2021
“The citizens of St. Louis and the county of St. Louis are not subjects, they are free people. As your Attorney General, I will file a lawsuit on Monday to stop this madness, ”Schmitt tweeted over the weekend.
Unchanged travel restrictions
Meanwhile, the US government is making slow progress on its existing restrictions on international travel, choosing to keep them in place for now, according to a White House official.
President Joe Biden earlier this month said his administration was “in the process” of considering how soon the United States might lift the ban on European travel to the United States after German Chancellor Angela Merkel raised the problem during his visit to the White House. .
The official, who was not authorized to comment publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said that while the administration understands the importance of international travel, cases are increasing in the US, particularly among those who are not vaccinated and they are likely to continue to rise in the United States. weeks ahead.