The top U.S. infectious disease expert told CNN Sunday there could be up to 100,000 new COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by the end of the year, but the situation while “entirely predictable” is also “entirely preventable.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. has the “wherewithal” to avoid the fulfillment of the prediction, but the problem is the 80 million people in the country who are not vaccinated.
“We could turn this thing around and we can do it efficiently and quickly if we could just get those people vaccinated,” Fauci said. “It’s so important that people in this crisis put aside any ideological and political differences and just get vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, last week, the U.S. reached a daily average of 100,000 hospitalizations for COVID-19, according to a New York Times report that said the surge in cases is rivaled only by a surge last winter when vaccines were not available.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Dr. Shannon Byrd, a pulmonologist in Knoxville, Tennessee told The Times. “It’s bringing whole families down and tearing families apart. They’re dying in droves.”
Residents of Auckland, New Zealand are facing another two weeks of full lockdown, after 53 more cases of the highly contagious delta variant were detected in the region Monday. Eighty-three cases were detected Sunday.
New Zealand’s health ministry announced the country’s first death linked to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, a woman who died from myocarditis shortly after she was inoculated. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and has been identified as a side effect of the Pfizer two-dose vaccine.
The health ministry said the woman had other medical issues which may have contributed to her death.
Israel has opened its COVID vaccine booster program to all citizens 12 years of age and older, as the country is challenged with an increasing number of COVID delta variant cases.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center counted more than 216.4 million global infections early Monday and 4.5 million deaths.
It cost nearly $15,000 for a U.S. football player to make the decision to get a COVID vaccine.
Isaiah McKenzie, a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, was fined $14,650 for not wearing a mask inside a team facility on several occasions, conduct contrary to the National Football League’s protocol for unvaccinated players. After the fine, McKenzie got his first shot.
Some information for this report came from Reuters and The Associated Press.