The reality is that the country is still a long way away from herd immunity
— 与 疫苗犹豫 now standing as a major hurdle in achieving that goal
. A stunning 40% of Marines have declined the Covid-19 vaccine
, according to vaccine data provided to CNN on Friday by the Marine Corps
一个新的 Kaiser Family Foundation report last week found that a higher percentage of rural residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine
(39%) than those in urban and suburban areas
(31% 每). But as access to vaccines increases
, the rural population may soon fall behind
. That is because a much larger percentage of Americans in rural areas say they definitely will not get the vaccine
(21%) 和....相比 10% in urban areas and
13% in suburban areas
, another looming challenge for the Biden administration
Covid fatigue and a contagious variant
With many Americans tired of pandemic restrictions and convinced that the worst is behind them, some governors have quickened the pace of reopenings in their states, clearly feeling the heat of their approaching reelection campaigns.
加州政府. 加文·纽瑟姆（Gavin Newsom）, a Democrat who is likely to face a recall
今年, announced last week that his state will fully reopen by June 15
, drawing criticism from opponents who questioned how he could predict what case rates would look like by that arbitrary date
. 德克萨斯州政府. 格雷格·雅培, 共和党人, threw out his state’s mask mandate
上个月. 佛罗里达州政府. 罗恩·迪桑蒂斯, 共和党人, 最近 banned so-called Covid-19 passports
, arguing they would create
“two classes of citizens based on vaccinations.
” And Whitmer
, WHO faced a fierce backlash when she established some of the strictest Covid rules in the country last year
, is notably taking a gentler approach by making her recommendations for a two-week pause voluntarily
. All four leaders are up for reelection in
“To be very clear these are not orders, mandates or requirements,” Whitmer said of her call for halting indoor dining, in-person high school classes and youth sports. “A year in, we all know what works and this has to be a team effort.”
The spread of the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant
, which is now the dominant strain in the United States
, is a central factor in Michigan’s surge
. And for that reason
, the state is becoming a case study for the warnings that some top doctors and epidemiologists issued in recent weeks that the pace of vaccinations will be no match for the rate at which new variants may spread among the population
One of the most bracing facts about Michigan’s rise in cases is that nearly
40% of the state’s residents have already received one dose of the vaccine
, 根据 the state’s tracking system
Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, noted that Michigan’s surge is happening despite its vaccination progress. “The vaccine rollout has been a really important tool to try to reduce these cases. But as you’ve seen from Michigan and Minnesota — even though they have very high levels of vaccination relative to the rest of the country — you’re still seeing how severe the problem is,” Osterholm said on CNN’s “新的一天” 星期四. “We’re just aren’t going to be able to get enough people vaccinated quickly enough to keep the rest of the country from experiencing much of what we’re seeing in the upper Midwest and Northeast.”
While not everyone shares that perspective, the uncertainty has put the White House in a tenuous position, reflected in comments by Dr. 罗谢尔·瓦伦斯基, the director of the CDC, during Friday’s White House Covid-19 Response Team briefing.
“On the one hand, we have so much reason for optimism and hope and more Americans are being vaccinated and protected from Covid-19,” Walensky said. “另一方面, cases and emergency room visits are up, and as I’ve highlighted through the week, we are seeing these increases in younger adults, most of whom have not yet been vaccinated.”
She noted that particularly in Michigan and Minnesota, officials have been monitoring increasing reports of cases associated with youth sports: “I want to be clear, as cases increase in the community, we expect the cases identified in schools will also increase,” Walensky said.
With the administration eager to keep children in school, she emphasized that those cases may not necessarily be associated with school-based transmission, which she argued can be avoided if schools follow all the safety protocols outlined by the CDC. 仍然, the risks to students are one of the reasons why the CDC dedicated $ 10 billion from the American Rescue Plan to support testing in schools across the country.
“Being able to rapidly identify new cases among students will help us slow the spread of Covid-19 while we simultaneously work to expand equitable access to vaccines,” 她说.
To try to control the spread in Michigan, Whitmer has urged the Biden administration to send more vaccine doses to her state, calling for the creation of a “vaccine surge program” to help hotspots.
So far the Biden administration has refused, a decision that White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients defended on Friday, even as he stressed that the administration is sending more resources — including offers of more personnel, greater testing capacity and more therapeutics and treatments to help patients — to states struggling with a rise in cases. A senior administration official told CNN’s Pamela Brown on Saturday that an additional 160 Federal Emergency Management Agency vaccinators are on their way to Michigan to assist the state in administering the doses it has on hand.
“There are tens of millions of people across the country in each and every state and county who have not yet been vaccinated,” Zients said Friday. “The fair and equitable way to distribute the vaccine is based on the adult population by state, tribe and territory. That’s how it’s been done, and we will continue to do so.”
“The virus is unpredictable. We don’t know where the next increase in cases could occur,” 他加了, noting that the US is not even halfway through its vaccination program. “So now is not the time to change course on vaccine allocation.”
But if the situation gets more dire in Michigan — and other states face similar surges — that may become a difficult position for the Biden administration to maintain. Whitmer may be the first Democratic governor to publicly pressure the administration for a vaccine surge program, but she is unlikely to be the last.