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CDC chief says US is in 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'
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CDC chief says US is in 'pandemic of the unvaccinated'

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FILE - In this May 19, 2021 file photo, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky testifies during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to examine the FY 2022 budget request for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Washington. Walensky said Wednesday, June 30 the CDC is leaving it up to local officials to set guidelines for mask-wearing as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus surges in areas with low vaccination rates. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP, File)

WASHINGTON — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. is becoming “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Speaking during a White House briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky says cases in the U.S. are up about 70% over the last week, hospital admissions are up 36% and deaths rose by 26%. Nearly all hospital admissions and deaths, she says, are among the unvaccinated.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients echoed the pandemic is “one that predominantly threatens unvaccinated people.”

He says the Biden administration expects cases to increase in the weeks ahead because of spread in communities with low vaccination rates. Four states accounted for 40% of new cases last week, with one in five coming from Florida.

But Zients says there are signs that increased cases are driving more people in those communities to seek vaccination at rates faster than the national average.

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