By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The daily vaccination rate in the states with the highest COVID-19 cases has more than doubled, but Texas and Florida account for one-third of cases nationwide, the White House said Monday.
COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters that virus cases continue to be concentrated in states with lower vaccination rates as the highly-transmissible Delta variant continues to spread. He said the seven states with the lowest vaccination rates represent just 8% of the US population but make up 17% of cases.
"One in three cases nationwide occurred in Florida and in Texas this past week," he said during a news conference. "Americans are seeing the risk and impact of being unvaccinated and responding with action. And that's what it's going to take to get us out of this pandemic.”
Florida and Texas were quick to lift virus-related restrictions, and leaders in both states have shirked off the possibility of returning to mask mandates even as they face worrying spikes in cases. On Sunday, Florida recorded its highest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the pandemic with 10,207 people hospitalized.
In the US, 70% of eligible adults have gotten at least one shot, including three million Americans who got the jab in the last seven days, in what Zients called "significant milestones" in the race to inoculate the country.