The daily death toll in the United States has risen nearly 300 per cent, according to a John Hopkins data, as the Delta variant begins to wreak havoc on the country.
There were 321 deaths from COVID-19 reported on Thursday, and 891 on Friday.
The number of new cases reported has doubled to 190,000.
The country has now reported 34,945,468 cases of COVID-19, and 613,013 deaths, according to the John Hopkins University.
The current seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. is roughly 67,000, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data – an increase of 53 per cent compared to a week ago.
Dr Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, said on Friday he believes there is a significant under-reporting of COVID-19 cases at present. He said the daily caseload could be one million – four times that of the January peak
Dr Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday said he expects the situation to get much worse.
He told CNBC he believes the coronavirus is significantly more widespread in the U.S. than official case counts reflect.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if, on the whole, we’re infecting up to a million people a day right now, and we’re just picking up maybe a 10th of that or less than a 10th of that,’ he said.
Gottlieb’s assessment would mean that the Delta variant is infecting four times as many people as during the peak of the previous surge, in January.
‘What it reflects is a reality where you have a highly transmissible variant that’s widely spread across the U.S. right now that’s spreading mostly in a population that’s either vaccinated and developing mild symptoms or no symptoms at all; or spreading in a younger population that’s also less likely to develop symptoms because they’re younger, healthier,’ said Gottlieb.
‘Most of the spread and most of the people who are showing up in the hospital are younger people. If that’s where the infection is occurring, then there must be a lot more infection underneath the small numerator that’s showing up in the hospital.’
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter on Friday that the highly contagious virus strain now accounted for 75 percent of new coronavirus cases in the state.
Meanwhile, official data from New York City shows the strain is beginning to take its toll there as well, accounting for 72 percent of cases.
The highly transmissible variant is believe to be behind outbreaks in both the state and city as public health experts and local leaders urge people to get vaccinated.
The Delta variant now accounts for 72 percent of new cases in New York City
After enjoying declines for several weeks, New York has been seeing cases in increase over the past month..
The state is averaging 1,049 new cases per day, a 131 percent increase over the 454 cases per day average from two weeks ago, according to data from the CDC.
Despite the recent increases, case rates are still relatively low compared to other states, largely because of the state’s high vaccination rate.
In New York, 63 percent of residents have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 57 percent are fully vaccinated.
Cuomo is trying to push that rate higher, though.
On Wednesday, the governor announced that all state employees will either have to get vaccinated or subject themselves to regular COVID testing, starting on Labor Day.
Cases in New York have increased by 131 percent over the past two weeks, but still remain relatively low
Both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced vaccine or testing mandates for their employees this week
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a similar decision earlier this week, announcing that 300,000 municipal workers in the city will either have to get vaccinated or subject themselves to regular testing in order to continue working.
The densely populated city accounts for a majority of the state’s COVID-19 cases.
As of Friday, an average of 788 new cases every day are being found in New York City, an increase from 430 two weeks ago.
The city is also lagging behind the rest of the state in its vaccine rollout, with only 59.5 percent of residents having received at least one shot of the vaccine, and 54.6 percent fully vaccinated.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis declared Friday that there will not be any new COVID-19 restrictions as the state health department reported a 50% jump in coronavirus cases this week.
This data shows a continuing a six-week surge, making the state the outbreak’s epicenter and responsible for 1 in 5 new infections nationally.
The Florida Department of Health’s report came just hours after DeSantis signed an executive order banning schools from requiring students to wear face masks when they return to class next month.
His edict, which is effective immediately, also stressed that ‘all parents have the right to make healthcare decisions for their minor children,’ – such as whether to mask them up.
Meanwhile, more than 110,000 new coronavirus cases were reported statewide over the past week, up from 73,000 last week and 11 times the 10,000 reported the week of June 11, six weeks ago. Case numbers are now back to where they in January, just before vaccinations became widely available.
Joe Biden has been strongly urging people to get vaccinated. On May 13 he celebrated the announcement that face masks were no longer necessary – something critics have seized upon
The highest seven-day day average of new COVID cases recorded in the U.S. was roughly 251,000 on January 8.
Case counts had dropped off dramatically in the spring as the country’s vaccination campaign picked up speed.
The Indian ‘Delta’ variant causes infections that are more contagious than the common cold, flu, smallpox and the Ebola virus, and it is as infectious as chickenpox, the CDC claimed in a new research published on Friday.
It claims COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective against the Delta variant at preventing serious illness and death, but detailed an outbreak in Provincetown, Cape Cod, over the July 4 weekend which saw many vaccinated people become infected.
No one who was vaccinated died.
Only 6,587 – or 0.004 per cent – of the 163 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 had suffered serious ‘breakthrough’ infections as of Monday.
The report attributed 430 cases to the outbreak. The cluster jumped to 931 cases on Thursday.
About 74 per cent, or 364 cases, had been fully vaccinated.
At least 79 per cent reported symptoms.
The Delta variant is more dangerous in several ways, Kaiser Health News claimed in a report, saying the incubation period is four days, rather than six, making people contagious sooner.
When the pandemic began, people spread the original coronavirus to an average of two or three people. Today, people infected with delta infect six people, on average.
It is not believed to be any more lethal, but it kills more people because it infects more.
British scientists have questioned some of the claims made by the CDC.
Professor David Livermore, an infectious diseases expert from the University of East Anglia, said vaccine-triggered immunity and the endless waves of COVID which nations have endured meant there were fewer susceptible people around for people to infect.
‘The US, like the UK, has substantial immunity from prior infection and from vaccination,’ he told MailOnline.
‘This will surely be a major drag on Delta’s spread, precluding (viral spread) numbers of that magnitude.’
And Professor Julian Tang, a virologist at Leicester University, said the theory was likely just ‘speculation’ because it was very difficult to track down the number of cases sparked by a single infection.
In the United Kingdom, the Delta outbreak is showing encouraging signs of being on the wane.
Joe Biden on Friday night told reporters that new restrictions were likely on their way to stem the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak
Biden stopped to talk to the media as he left the White House on Friday evening, en route to Camp David for the weekend
Delta outbreaks tend to last 10 to 12 weeks, as the virus ‘burns through’ susceptible populations.
COVID hospitalizations in England have fallen for first time since third wave took off and Department of Health statistics show the average number of patients needing care also fell sharply.
To counter the rising raise of U.S. infection, the White House is pushing for Americans to get their COVID vaccine – but has said repeatedly they won’t mandate people get their shot in the arm.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that it was being discussed – but then backtracked, and tweeted that it was not.
Dr Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, appeared on Fox News on Friday and said that discussions were being held about a possible federal vaccine mandate. She said she could not go into details
‘Yesterday, almost a million people got vaccinated, about half a million people for the first time,’ President Biden said, calling it ‘good news.’
Biden is requiring the more than two million employees of the federal government get vaccinated or submit to regular COVID testing.
The White House has said vaccine requirements are up to private businesses.
On Friday, Disney and Walmart, two of America’s largest employers, announced a vaccine requirement for their employees.
The president on Friday warned Americans that new restrictions could be on their way, to curb the spread of COVID.
While he did not specify what the new restrictions would entail, the White House on Friday said that they were not planning on reintroducing lockdowns.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy press secretary, was asked whether there have been ‘conversations in the White House or between the White House and its scientific advisors about more lockdowns, partial lockdowns or anything along those lines’.
Jean-Pierre responded: ‘We have the tools in our toolbelt to fight this variant.
‘We are not going to head towards a lockdown.
‘We want to make sure that we’re doing everything that we can because we have the resources to make sure that doesn’t happen.’
In a report published on Friday, Walensky’s agency detailed a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, linked to the spread of the Indian ‘Delta’ variant.
According to the CDC’s report, 469 COVID-19 cases were identified among Massachusetts residents who had traveled to the popular vacation spot of Provincetown between July 3 and July 17, including 346 fully vaccinated people.
About 274 of the vaccinated people with so-called breakthrough infections showed symptoms – most commonly cough, headache, sore throat, muscle pain, and fever.
Testing identified the highly contagious Delta variant in 90 per cent of specimens from 133 patients.
A new CDC report detailed 469 cases of COVID-19 linked to an outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts between July 3 and July 17, of which 74% were in fully vaccinated people
Only four of the vaccinated people were hospitalized, two of whom had underlying conditions, and there were no deaths. This shows vaccines are effective even against the Delta variant, which now makes up 83% of all new infections