Biden implores US to take COVID-19 seriously as cases climb

As a possible fourth COVID-19 pandemic surge looms even amid expanded access to vaccines, President Joe Biden yesterday urged states and cities to reinstate face mask mandates and bid Americans to behave responsibly, the New York Times reports.

“Please, this is not politics—reinstate the mandate,” Biden said. “The failure to take this virus seriously is precisely what got us into this mess in the first place.”

Following similar patterns in Europe, average daily US coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are up nearly 19% over the previous 2 weeks, including a foreboding spike in northeastern states, as coronavirus variants rapidly supplant less transmissible strains. COVID-19 cases are rising in 30 states, Forbes reports today.

The United States reported 70,265 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and 685 deaths; 39,924 Americans are hospitalized, according to the New York Times. The US 7-day average climbed above 63,000 for the first time in nearly 1 month, the Washington Post reports.

Michigan, Vermont, and North Dakota all reported large increases in new cases, with a 57% increase in infections and a 47% increase in hospitalizations in Michigan, which eased coronavirus-related restrictions earlier this month. The 7-day average death rate still approaches 1,000 a day.

US cases today rose to 30,349,019, including 550,371 deaths, according to the John Hopkins online tracker.


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