A medical technician at a testing center, Houston, Texas, July 7, 2920 (Callaghan O’Hare/Reuters)


The US Coronavirus death toll has passed 700,000.

On Friday, the 7-day average of daily deaths was 1,883, taking the total for the pandemic to 700,327. There have been 43,621,628 confirmed cases.

The pandemic is the deadliest in US history, surpassing about 675,000 Americans who died from Spanish flu in 1918-1919.

With the Biden Administration pursuing a mass vaccination campaign, the 7-day average fell to 188 on July 6. However, a significant minority — and, in some states in the South and West, majority — of US adults are refusing the jabs, and some Republican Governors are removing and/or blocking containment measures such as the wearing of masks.

See also Florida Gov. DeSantis Threatens Cities With Fines Over Coronavirus Vaccines

Cases have soared from a low point of 11,237 on June 6 to a 7-day average of 166,105 on September 1. While there has been a steady decrease in the past month, the rate of cases is still almost 10 times higher than that four months ago.

Cases and deaths in the latest surge have been concentrated in the South. Florida and Texas lead the US, and Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas — all with low vaccination rates — are among the worst-affected states.

Florida has recorded the deaths of about 17,000 residents since the middle of June, and Texas 13,000. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have both loudly denounced requirements for the wearing of masks in schools and other indoor spaces.

Every age group under 55 had its highest death toll of the pandemic this summer. The unvaccinated are 10 times more likely to die than the vaccinated, according to a Centers for Disease Control study of 10 states, New York City, Los Angeles County, and King County, Washington, which includes Seattle.


The 7-day average of daily US Coronavirus deaths has passed 2,000.

The average reached 2,012 on Saturday, the highest mark since March 1. The average was 188 on July 7, but soared since then because of the Delta variant and a minority of US adults holding out against vaccinations.

Florida and Texas, whose governors have opposed measures to contain the virus, account for more than 30% of the deaths. Florida averages about 353 deaths a day, and Texas about 286.

See also Florida Gov. DeSantis Threatens Cities With Fines Over Coronavirus Vaccines

Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi played down the state’s high death rate: “Unfortunately, fatalities are a lagging indicator when it comes to the virus. Timing has as much to do with that statistic as anything else.”

Mississippi is third in the US for deaths per capita, behind only Florida and Alabama.


Some US hospitals, particularly in the South, are nearing full capacity in intensive care units amid the surge in serious Coronavirus cases.

One in four hospitals is reporting more than 95% use of ICU beds — up from one in five last month. In June, less than one in 10 hospitals were at dangerously high occupancy rates.

Alabama, with the lowest vaccination rate in the US, has been at negative capacity since the summer. Dozens of patients have been unable to get into ICUs.

See also Coronavirus — Biden Acts as US Intensive Care Units Near Capacity

Jeannie Gaines, a spokesperson for the Alabama Hospital Association, said, “It means they’re in the waiting room, some are in the back of ambulances, things of that nature.”

In Texas, ICUs are more than 95% full in 169 hospitals, up from 69 in June. The state now has only about 700 intensive care beds available.

In Florida, with the highest 7-day averages of cases and deaths in the US, 24 hospitals are at negative capacity.

See also Florida Gov. DeSantis Threatens Cities With Fines Over Coronavirus Vaccines

President Joe Biden makes a high-profile push for Coronavirus vaccinations, including mandates for two-thirds of American workers to be inoculated.

In a speech on Thursday, Biden issued an order for for all companies with more than 100 workers to require vaccination or weekly testing. He confirmed the mandates for health care workers, federal contractors, and the large majority of federal workers.

Biden promised to “protect vaccinated workers from the unvaccinated”.

We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.

With a minority of Americans refusing the shots, the vaccination rate is still only about 54%. In five states — Alabama, Wyoming, Mississippi, Idaho, and West Virginia, it is less than 40%.

Amid the surge of the Delta variant, the 7-day average of daily deaths has risen almost 750% — to 1,579 from 188 — in the past two months. The average of daily cases is 147,616, compared to 11,878 on June 26.

Biden said the mandates would cover about 100 million people. He also ordered mandatory vaccination for almost 300,000 educators in the federal Head Start Program and at more than 200 federally-run schools.

The President is using the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid testing kits with cooperation with retail outlets to expand availability. The Transportation Security Administration is doubling fines on passengers who refuse to wear masks.

If you break the rules, be prepared to pay — and by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their jobs is wrong. It’s ugly.

He pledged, “We can and we will turn the tide of Covid-19. It’ll take a lot of hard work and it’s going to take some time.”

Some Republican legislators such as Sen. Ted Cruz falsely claimed Biden’s orders were illegal, and some GOP governors, such as Kristi Noem of South Dakota, said they would challenge the mandates. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt insisted, “It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do.”

However, experts said the President was using established Executive authority.

Robert Field, a law professor at Drexel University, said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can protect workers from being exposed to a deadly virus. Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University law professor who specializes in public health, explained:

The president’s plan is bold, audacious and unprecedented. But I do think it’s entirely lawful. He’s on extremely strong legal ground.

Biden was clear: “If those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic. I will use my power as president to get them out of the way.”