SEVERE WX : Freeze Warning - Frost Advisory View Alerts

His wife fought cancer for 12 years, but Covid killed her in 8 days

CNN's Elle Reeve revisits Carter County, Missouri, where Covid-19 is moving through towns of unvaccinated Americans.

Posted: Sep 11, 2021 2:13 PM


As the US averages more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths daily, not getting vaccinated is akin to driving while intoxicated, one health expert said Friday.

"We need to start talking about the choice to remain unvaccinated as the choice to go out and drive intoxicated," CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Wen's remarks come after the Biden administration announced Thursday a Covid-19 vaccine mandate plan that directs the US Labor Department to require all businesses with 100 employees or more to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or tested once a week. President Joe Biden also signed an executive order requiring all government employees to get their Covid-19 vaccine shots, with no option for regular testing to opt out.

And while some Republican officials have criticized his move as overreaching, health experts say the President should have implemented stricter measures to curb the recent surge of Covid-19 cases.

"From a public health perspective, it is not overreach at all. And in fact, I wish that they came out earlier and went even further," Wen said. "We're in the middle of the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes. We have more than a thousand Americans who are dying every single day. We, as a society, set laws that protect people's health and well-being all the time."

An average of 1,110 people died in the US from Covid-19 each day over the last week, data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed on Thursday. The rate of deaths since late August is the highest it has been since early March.

While 73.5% of those ages 12 and up have been vaccinated with at least one dose, tens of millions of eligible recipients remain unvaccinated as the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant continues to grip pockets of the country. Around 62% of the same age group is fully vaccinated as of Friday.

"The vast minority of Americans are resistant to vaccination, but that's where the virus has been circulating," CNN Medical Analyst Jonathan Reiner told CNN's Don Lemon on Friday. "We live in a country that has rules. You can't smoke in most buildings in the United States, and you can't drive drunk. You can't smoke on planes. And you can't blow virus into my face.

"That's how it has to be in this country. And if you're going to be a persistent threat to the public health by refusing to get vaccinated, well your actions have consequences, and the consequences may be you can't work at your job."

An August poll from Gallup showed that 56% of Americans favor vaccine requirements at work while 53% support them for restaurant dining and 61% approve of them for air travel.

And as for those who have not yet gotten their shots, it's not too late to convince them, former US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Friday.

"We need to remember that most of these people are not what I call 'vaccine-resistant' -- some people say 'anti-vax,' I find that term pejorative," Adams told CNN's John Berman. "Most of these people are in the movable middle. They're vaccine-hesitant.

"I found that when I talk to them with compassion and with empathy, I can convince a lot of them over time to get their vaccination."

Health care systems strained

Six US states saw at least a 10% increase in new Covid-19 cases in the past week compared to the week before, data from Johns Hopkins University showed Friday, while the other states didn't see a change or experienced a decline in cases altogether.

Alabama, one of the states that saw the recent drop in new cases, is now facing a shortage of 60 intensive care unit beds -- an uptick of 20 from last Friday, the state's Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

That's 60 patients "who are receiving critical care because they're chronically ill, and yet they don't have an ICU bed," Harris said Friday.

"They're being cared for in an emergency department or a ward bed that's been converted to an ICU room or on a gurney in the hallway," Harris said.

Alabama on Thursday reported 2,667 Covid-19 hospitalizations and 53 deaths, he added.

In West Virginia, 252 Covid-19 patients are in ICUs and another 141 are on ventilators, marking the most people hospitalized with the disease since the pandemic began, Gov. Jim Justice said Friday.

"A high percentage of the folks in the hospitals are unvaccinated," Justice said. "We lost another 38 people since Wednesday. We're going to continue to lose people in this surge without any questions," he said.

Minnesota health officials linked at least 69 Covid-19 cases to the State Fair, according to a statement obtained from the state's health department by CNN affiliate WCCO. The Minnesota State Fair's website says the event ran from August 25 through September 5 in Falcon Heights.

Heated debate over mask mandates

Meanwhile, the debate over mask mandates remains heated in many states, especially when it comes to schools.

In Kentucky, schools will have the choice of whether they will mandate masks, after the General Assembly overrode the governor's partial veto on that portion of a bill pertaining to Covid-19 provisions in schools, officials say.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the part of the SB1 bill that would eliminate the mask mandate for K-12 schools and leave it up to school districts to decide if masking is necessary, he said at a media gaggle on Friday.

Beshear said that the Senate's recent rejection of a statewide school mask mandate is the wrong choice -- and one that will reap harmful results.

"Mask requirement for schools is not only the right thing to do for our young people, especially those who are too young to even get vaccinated," Beshear said. "It's our best way to keep our children learning in the classroom."

Meanwhile in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday that Biden's vaccine mandate plan is unconstitutional.

"A member of the executive branch of government does not have the authority to mandate something such as this," Reeves said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324571

Reported Deaths: 3709
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah52543645
Washington35987280
Marion33757401
Clackamas27506277
Lane24978256
Jackson21483271
Deschutes17521104
Umatilla13107129
Linn1105390
Douglas11044207
Josephine8843175
Yamhill7781102
Klamath669695
Polk644272
Malheur498769
Benton479530
Coos439772
Columbia339039
Jefferson329748
Union287738
Lincoln286830
Wasco250139
Clatsop226026
Crook224939
Tillamook186123
Baker183124
Morrow171221
Curry169217
Hood River167235
Harney90518
Grant8899
Lake7518
Wallowa55812
Gilliam1404
Sherman1333
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4698504

Reported Deaths: 68767
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles145515526035
Riverside3618524864
San Diego3547324054
San Bernardino3504055545
Orange3179985409
Sacramento1526762142
Santa Clara1418101852
Fresno1383231939
Kern1378841540
Alameda1173871328
San Joaquin990131633
Ventura986241138
Contra Costa96871924
Stanislaus820391262
Tulare74793904
San Mateo52770612
San Francisco52580622
Monterey49872571
Solano44658314
Santa Barbara43571505
Merced40058548
Sonoma39799384
Placer37312370
Imperial34644756
Kings30713293
San Luis Obispo28759319
Madera22239263
Butte22019238
Shasta21684291
Santa Cruz20334214
Yolo19462239
Marin17258242
El Dorado16291132
Sutter13297155
Napa1242695
Yuba945564
Nevada863985
Tehama856088
Humboldt851494
San Benito716170
Mendocino708182
Lassen660127
Tuolumne630193
Lake620295
Amador505559
Glenn411330
Siskiyou410442
Calaveras355570
Del Norte348237
Colusa294418
Inyo171339
Mono15295
Plumas12976
Mariposa106213
Trinity75810
Modoc6288
Sierra1980
Unassigned1430
Alpine1010
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 60°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 57°
Crater Lake
Mostly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 60°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 60°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 45°
Very cold overnight, sunshine and warmer temperatures return Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events