(CNN)It’s “where the world’s best meet, from far and near,” according to Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who ahead of the Dubai World Cup had penned a 24-line poem in honor of the prestigious event.
If we want kids back in school and the economy to prosper, more of the US needs to get vaccinated, expert says
“If we want to keep our kids in school, if we want to protect the economy, if we want our country to get through this pandemic, we have to leave no stone unturned in making sure people get vaccinated,” US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.In the face of new cases surging…
The data already shows the difference between areas with high and low vaccination rates.
Average hospitalization rates are nearly three times higher in states that have fully vaccinated less than half of their residents compared with those that have vaccinated more than half of their residents, according to a CNN analysis of federal data. And Covid-19 case and death rates over the past week are more than twice as high among states that have vaccinated less than half of their residents, on average.
With only 49.4% of Americans fully vaccinated, former US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Thursday that he anticipates more closures as the Delta variant keeps spreading. And with some mask and vaccine mandates already implemented, Murthy anticipates more will be added.
“The private sector is already stepping up to create verification systems,” Murthy said. “What we are going to see more and more, Anderson, in the weeks and months ahead is, I believe, we’re going to see more universities, more hospitals, more businesses, more retail establishments looking to put rules in place to require people to get vaccinated.”
Those kind of mandates can make a difference in motivating Americans to get vaccinated, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, said Thursday. Jha said other measures will help the US manage transmission in the short term, but vaccine mandates will be part of the long-term solution.
“I wish we’d done these mandates a month earlier,” Jha added. “They would have made a bigger difference, but even doing it now will help.”
The enemy is the Delta variant, governor says
The document — a slideshow first obtained by The Washington Post — appears to provide some data backing CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s controversial decision to change the agency’s guidance on mask use.
It says the Delta variant is about as transmissible as chickenpox, with each infected person, on average, infecting eight or nine others. The original lineage was about as transmissible as the common cold, with each infected person passing the virus to about two other people on average.
Some states are seeing the consequences of the virus’ spread unfold.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he was reinstating the public health emergency because of the rise in Covid cases.
“Anytime you are having staffing shortages in hospital(s). Whenever, today I believe, it’s four Covid patients that are waiting in ambulances to be able to find a hospital to go to. That constitutes an emergency and a public health crisis” Hutchinson said.
In Central Florida, Advent Health said it had about 1,000 Covid-19 patients as of Thursday, surpassing the January peak of around 900, according to a press release.
In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice said the state’s Covid-19 task force will begin assessing the state’s PPE and hospital and nursing home preparedness.
Justice said the state will be working with Pfizer to conduct a “battlefield assessment” about the efficacy of the vaccine’s antibodies on fighting the Delta variant.
“The enemy is coming, and the enemy is this Delta variant,” Justice said.
Experts weigh on on prospects for booster shots
Amid the surge, the conversation has turned to whether boosters will be needed to enhance the vaccine protection — but many experts say the time for that is still far off.
“Booster shots will come, better guidance on who needs serology tests, when you check antibodies, which ones you check, those will all come,” Dr. Joseph Kanter, state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health said during a call of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
“I don’t think it changes anything of what we need to be doing right now, which primarily is increase the base of the generally vaccinated population.”
Dr. Nirav Shah, ASTHO president and director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, agreed. “To be candid with you, right now, I’m really focused on getting folks first doses, rather than third doses,” Shah said.
Any decision on a booster dose depends on more data, a prominent member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee Dr. Paul Offit told CNN on Thursday.
It is possible the US could know by the end of summer or early fall, Murthy said. “We have been tracking more than 20 cohorts across the nation, looking at for evidence of when immunity may wane and when breakthrough infections may increase,” he said.
If the time does come that boosters are needed, Americans will be able to get them in “a fast and efficient manner,” White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Thursday.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Hannah Sarisohn, Maggie Fox and John Bonifield, Shawn Nottingham, Deidre McPhillips, Rosa Flores, Kay Jones and Virginia Langmaid contributed to this report.
Connor Fields ‘is awake’ after BMX semifinals crash at the Olympics as Niek Kimmann storms to historic gold
The American rider suffered a dramatic fall early in the third round of the men’s semifinal after appearing to tangle with another competitor when taking a corner. The 28-year-old Fields, who was the gold medal winner at Rio 2016 and one of the hot favorites to win in Tokyo, hit the ground hard and required…
The American rider suffered a dramatic fall early in the third round of the men’s semifinal after appearing to tangle with another competitor when taking a corner.
The 28-year-old Fields, who was the gold medal winner at Rio 2016 and one of the hot favorites to win in Tokyo, hit the ground hard and required medical attention before being stretchered into an ambulance.
“We will share additional updates as they become available,” added USA Cycling BMX.
Meanwhile, Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands won his country’s first Olympic gold medal in BMX Racing after an exhilarating run.
“Since the pandemic hit I’ve had one goal, one goal, and that goal was today,” said Kimmann after the win.
“I still don’t believe I have it. I’m from the Netherlands. It’s a small country. But I know other friends who have won gold medals, so I always felt like I was the one missing it.
Earlier in the week, Kimmann’s dream was almost dashed after a freak collision with an official during training. He suffered a fractured knee but was able to recover in time after resting for much of the week.
“The last weeks I’ve felt in the best shape ever. Of course there was a lot of pressure, but I was confident,” said the 25-year-ol Kimman.
“And then I hit that official and I felt like my dream was over. But luckily with painkillers that dream was still alive. I just kept believing.”
Following his win, Kimmann sent his best wishes to Fields.
“I think we all know that there are risks to our sport, but at the end of the day we just love our sport so much,” he added.
“Connor is the defending gold medalist. I haven’t seen his crash or seen the video, but I just hope he’s OK.
“I think he’s been a great ambassador for the sport, like I hope I can be as well. It’s sad that he wasn’t able to defend his gold medal.”
Kye Whyte of Great Britain took silver, while Carlos Alberto Ramirez of Colombia earned bronze.
This Florida mother has been living in her teen daughter’s ICU room for days, praying she survives Covid-19