Last week, over 450,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States, with an average of more than 61,000 new cases every day. While the number of new infections is down slightly from the previous week, the number of cases was 18% higher than two weeks ago and 12% higher than a month ago.
The recent surge in cases are coming primarily from just five states. New York, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania reported over 196,000 new cases over the past week. Despite making up just 22% of the U.S. population, the states are responsible for nearly 44% of the total cases.
Michigan is averaging 6,600 cases a day, up from an average of 1,350 daily cases last month. Health officials blame the rise on the B.1.1.7 variant, which is more infectious than the original coronavirus strain.
Despite the increase in cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci isn't ready to sound the alarm about a new surge just yet. He said that as long as we continue to vaccinate people, the number of cases will be manageable, even if they increase slightly.
"As long as we keep vaccinating people efficiently and effectively, I don't think that's gonna happen," Fauci said during an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "That doesn't mean that we're not going to still see an increase in cases."
Some health experts are suggesting that the federal government allocate more vaccines to states that have seen the number of cases rise over the past few weeks.
"In some states ... case numbers are actually declining -- California is one of them. Other states like Michigan, they're actually doing a perfectly good job on vaccinations, but they have a huge surge," Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN. "So the federal strategy has to be to shift more vaccines to places like Michigan that are surging so they can use more vaccinations to stop that surge and save lives."
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