Well-Being Prevention & Cures

As delta variant takes over US, Biden is launching ‘surge response teams’

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Story at a glance

  • President Biden said Tuesday his administration is “mobilizing COVID-19 surge response teams,” to fight the highly transmissible delta variant.
  • “They’re going to help states that have particular problems prevent, detect and respond to the spread of the Delta variant among unvaccinated people in communities with low vaccination rates,” Biden said.
  • The administration came up just shy of its goal to have 70 percent of U.S. adults partially vaccinated by July 4.

President Biden said Tuesday his administration is “mobilizing COVID-19 surge response teams,” to fight the COVID-19 variants, including the highly transmissible delta variant that now accounts for more than 52 percent of all new cases in the U.S. 

The president told reporters following a COVID-19 briefing that the emergency units would consist of experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies. 

“They’re going to help states that have particular problems prevent, detect and respond to the spread of the Delta variant among unvaccinated people in communities with low vaccination rates,” Biden said. “And some states have very low vaccination rates.”

The administration came up just shy of its goal to have 70 percent of U.S. adults partially vaccinated by July 4. Current data shows slightly more than 67 percent of eligible adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The White House announced in June that 70 percent of U.S. adults over 30 had at least one jab


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The president said Tuesday the growing threat of variants should considerably shift the thinking of vaccine hesitant American, arguing that “their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people that they care about are at risk.” 

“It seems to me it should cause everybody to think twice. And it should cause reconsideration, especially in young people who may have thought that they didn’t have to be vaccinated, didn’t have to worry about it, didn’t have to do anything about it up to now.”

Polling continues to show resistance to vaccines among Americans who have yet to receive a dose. A poll released by the Washington Post and ABC News found that nearly 30 percent said they were not likely to get vaccinated, while 20 percent said they will definitely not get a shot. The poll, which was conducted from June 27 to June 30 among 907 adults, had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.


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White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that more than 99 percent of people who died from COVID-19 in June were not vaccinated. Fauci told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “no vaccine is perfect” but that most of the deaths were “avoidable and preventable.” 

“I mean, obviously there are going to be some people, because of the variability among people and their response to vaccine, that you’ll see some who are vaccinated and still get into trouble and get hospitalized and die,” Fauci continued. “But the overwhelming proportion of people who get into trouble are the unvaccinated. Which is the reason why we say this is really entirely avoidable and preventable.”

More than 603,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. 


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