WASHINGTON — President Biden vowed that the United States would not see new lockdowns in the coming months, even as he warned about the new Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is much more transmissible than other versions of the pathogen.
That variant originated in India and took hold in the United Kingdom over the course of the spring. Its rapid proliferation led British prime minister Boris Johnson . That reopening was supposed to take place on June 21, only to be scuttled by the new viral strain.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed Delta a Its prevalence in the United States is rising, leading some to worry that the U.S. just as society appears to be re-emerging from 15 months of pandemic-induced misery.
, Biden sought to offer reassurance about a scenario similar to Britain’s, vowing that there would be no new lockdowns. Lockdown measures were lifted in much of the country in May and June, only to return a
“Where people have gotten the two shots, the Delta variant is highly unlikely to result in anything,” the president said in a response to a reporter’s question, which followed his remarks on the nation’s vaccination effort. Three hundred million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered, and 44.7 percent of the American population is fully vaccinated,.
But what worries Biden and public health officials is geographic disparities, as well as demographic ones. Whereas, for example, 63.5 percent of Vermont’s entire population is vaccinated, only 33.5 percent of Louisianans have had their coronavirus inoculations. Fourteen states have vaccinated fewer than 40 percent of their residents as of Friday morning (children under 12 are not yet authorized for vaccination in the United States).
“The Delta variant can cause more people to die where people have not been vaccinated,” Biden said. That variant is said to be 60 percent more transmissible than the original coronavirus strain. And partial vaccination as thoroughly as it does against other strains.
“If you have one shot, get the second shot – as soon as you can,” Biden pleaded.
Although some coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country, those are And the states now at highest risk from the Delta variant because of their low vaccination rates were, for the most part, the quickest to cast off such restrictions. At the same time, it is impossible to predict just how state and municipal governments will respond to the Deltra strain, especially since it is they, not the federal government, that decide when to close down public spaces and businesses.
Biden has set a goal of having 70 percent of American adults vaccinated by the Fourth of July weekend. The symbolic goal appears to be within his grasp, though the pace of vaccination has slowed markedly in recent weeks. And even as he cautioned about the new variant, the president vowed that “a summer of freedom” lay ahead.
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