More U.S. cities are likely to reimpose mask mandates in the coming months, the U.S. surgeon general has warned, as alarm grows at the head of the Biden administration over the spread of the Covid variant. -19 Delta.
Dr. Vivek Murthy said Sunday that other parts of the U.S. will likely have to follow the direction of Los Angeles, which ordered this weekend that people wear masks in indoor public settings regardless of their vaccination status.
The warning reflects the concern of U.S. health officials about the Delta variant, which remains tear for the UK, despite the high levels of vaccination in Britain. Covid-19 infections are on the rise in all U.S. states for the first time since January.
Murthy told ABC News on Sunday: “In areas where there are low numbers of people vaccinated or where cases are rising, it’s very reasonable for counties to take more mitigation measures, such as the mask rules you see appearing. in Los Angeles, and I anticipate it will happen in other parts of the country as well. “
He added: “I am concerned that what we are starting to see more and more in states like Arkansas and Missouri and Nevada and my home state of Florida and Louisiana, these rises within the unvaccinated population, we will continue to see unless we eliminate this pandemic vaccinating more people “.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the average of seven new cases has risen 59 percent since last week, while deaths are up 48 percent.
Meanwhile, vaccination rates have fallen sharply from their peak in April. Where the United States vaccinated an average of 3.4 million people a day, that number is already reduced to just over 500,000.
Vaccination rates are particularly low in the southeastern states.
Georgia, for example, has now administered at least one dose to only 44% of its population, compared to a national average of 56%. The percentage of cases there has more than doubled in the last two weeks.
Tennessee, which last week shut down its health department send any information about the vaccine to children, has administered at least one dose to 43% of its residents. There are new cases up to almost 30% compared to two weeks ago.
The decline in demand for vaccines against Covid-19 has alarmed Joe Biden, the US president, who on Friday accused Facebook of “killing people” by doing nothing more to combat vaccine misinformation on their platform.
Murthy said Sunday that the White House could ask social media companies to change their algorithms to stop the spread of anti-vaccine material. He said: “The algorithms of these sites, which provide information over and over again to people [so] which sometimes reinforces misinformation, they are also places where we can ask these companies to make changes. “
Amy Klobuchar, Democratic chair of the Senate antitrust subcommittee, said the spread of misinformation further strengthened the case of those who want break up big tech companies.
He told CNN on Sunday: “They have swallowed so many companies that you don’t even have the chance to have other social media companies. [provide accurate information]”.
Facebook did not respond to any requests for comment.
Because several counties are considering tightening their Covid-related restrictions, the CDC has been under scrutiny for two months now overriding the recommendation that even vaccinated people wear masks inside.
Jerome Adams, who was a general surgeon at the beginning of the pandemic, tweeted Saturday: “CDC was well thought out, but the message was misinterpreted, premature and wrong. Let’s fix it. “
Murthy defended the guidelines, saying states and counties still had the power to impose their own restrictions.