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The Covid-19 cases in Florida rose by 948%, Omicron is flooding hospitals across United States after the holidays

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Covid-19 cases in Florida increased by 948% in just two weeks, while the highly transmissible variant Omicron causes a huge wave of infections and hospitalizations across the United States.

Even when Dr. Anthony Fauci – Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser – warned the public to look at hospitalizations, not infections, to measure the severity of Omicron, the seven-day average for US patients hospitalized with Covid-19 rose by more than 40% during the week between Christmas and New Year.

Cases have risen by more than 100 per cent nationwide, despite tests being deficient in many areas.

In Florida, local and state authorities have warned residents to wait in queues, sometimes miles long, just to take a test. Some have accused the state health department and Governor Ron Desantis of being missing in action.

Evidence suggests that Omicron is a milder but more contagious variant. But that “will still do terrible damage to the unvaccinated in both the United States and the world,” according to the New York Times.

Only 62% of the US population is fully vaccinated, with particularly low numbers in the south and in many mountainous states. The third dose is currently available to people 16 years of age and older, but only about a third of all fully vaccinated Americans choose to receive it – although Fauci said the extra dose was “optimal” protection from Omicron.

Covid-19 killed more than 820,000 people across the United States. It disrupted lives and livelihoods, disrupted education, left Americans feeling isolated, and sometimes brought the economy into free fall.

Traveling for the holidays was a predictable recipe for another wave, similar to last winter. But almost two years after the pandemic, the United States was still desperately unequal to such conditions, and the Omicron variant torments Americans even to find tests.

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