There's both good and bad news on the COVID front. The rate of people getting vaccinated, which was three million a day, is soaring.
At Monday's White House COVID Response Team briefing, senior advisor Andy Slavitt announced, "Over the weekend, there were more than four million recorded vaccinations in a single day for the first time. As of today, nearly one in three Americans and over 40 percent of adults have at least one shot."
18.5 percent of the population is now fully vaccinated. The death rate is slowly going down, averaging around 800 a day.
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The New Mutants
But on the bad news side of the ledger, infections are up about seven percent the past week, with hospitalizations increasing three percent.
At the same White House briefing, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said more young adults are getting the virus, mostly due to variants. The latest is a double mutant variant first found in the San Francisco bay area, possibly originating in India.
With more than 6,000,000 Americans flying over the Easter holiday, could these mutations and variants spread more widely?
Still, some fliers aren't scared.
Traveler Callandra McNeill said after a flight, "I wore my mask the entire trip. I followed all the guidelines. Did what they told me to do. And I feel pretty safe."
Jammed Jets in the Coming Days
But if flying does spread the virus, things could get worse, as one United pilot told CBN News: United Airlines is letting its pilots know to expect nothing but jammed flights in the weeks ahead.
Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Medicine said, "If you have unvaccinated people mingling, I do worry about another surge. That's what we've seen after every holiday."
Speaking of these virus variants and mutants, Harvard Medical School's Dr. John Bronstein suggested, "Overall, mutations will build up as we have more transmission in the community. And the concern is these mutations lead to more contagiousness."
You Can't Rent What's Not There
If you do fly and need a rental car, you may find price gouging or nothing available.
Brian Kelly, the founder of PointsGuy.com, explained, "The car rental companies sold off their inventories a year ago when no one was leaving their homes. And now that demand is coming back, they simply just can't get cars quick enough."
Leading to things like charges of up to $1,000 a day in Hawaii. But we won't call that a crisis given we still are fighting a pandemic.
Don't Mistake Progress for Victory
"The worst thing we could do right now would be to mistake progress for victory," Slavitt said. "If we let our guard down now, we will see more of our fellow Americans get sick and die unnecessarily."
Walensky noted, "I understand that people are tired and that they are ready for this pandemic to be over, as am I. Please continue to hang in there and continue to do the things that we know prevent the spread of the virus."
In other words, masks on, space distanced, hands washed and bodies vaccinated.
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