U.S. Covid Death Rate Highest In Four Months

The United States reported 1,145 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, which marks the second consecutive day the country’s Covid death toll has surpassed the 1K mark, as the Delta variant sweeps across the country.

The country reported about 137,815 new cases on Wednesday, August 18, taking total cases to 37.2 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The total number of deaths has surpassed 624,567.

Coronavirus-related deaths have increased sharply in the country over the past month and are averaging 809 per day, the highest since April. The 7-day average for Covid-19 cases was about 140,893 cases a day, an increase of 47% from two weeks ago. Every state has been significantly impacted by the Delta variant, but the impact has been most severe in the South, especially in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Hospitalization of people under the age of 50 has reached the highest recorded levels since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the largest increases in hospitalizations was among those in their 30s and the under-18s.

In order to the curb the spread of the Delta variant, the Biden administration on Wednesday announced plans to give Americans a third vaccine shot, starting September 20.

However, this decision has raised moral questions as it further contributes to the existing vaccine inequities in the world’s poorer nations.

The Africa director at the World Health Organization, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, criticized the decisions made by several countries, including the U.S., saying the decisions “make a mockery of vaccine equity” when the African continent is still struggling to get vaccine supplies.

African countries are lagging far behind other countries, as only 2 percent of the continent’s 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

“We’re planning to hand out extra life jackets to people who already have life jackets, while we’re leaving other people to drown without a single life jacket,” said Dr. Michael Ryan, the emergencies chief at WHO.

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