The surge in coronavirus cases in the United States is overwhelming the capacity to provide normal health care at hospitals in some states, one of the country’s top health officials said Sunday.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” show that in some parts of the country, “Their health care systems are in dire straits.”
“They are running out of beds,” she said. “And when you see that, you worry that people may not be able to come in and get the proper care if they have a motor vehicle accident or if they’re having a heart attack.”
“And that is why we are working so hard in areas that have high levels of disease” to get people vaccinated, she said, noting that people who are not vaccinated are 10 times more likely to be in the hospital than those who have been inoculated. “Our hospitals are filled with unvaccinated people.”
In addition, she said the unvaccinated in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to die.
Three months ago, the U.S. seemed on the verge of controlling the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, but the delta variant has led to a surge of new cases, 120,000 to 160,000 a day in recent weeks and about 2,000 deaths a day.
Even though more than 183 million people in the U.S. are fully vaccinated, about 70 million are not, with many of them refusing to get inoculated for one reason or another. Some say they remain skeptical of the safety of the shots or say they do not think they will become sick.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. currently has around 43 million confirmed cases and nearly 700,000 deaths. The U.S. leads the world in both categories.