Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states—a situation that's putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines. New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation's new COVID-19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases, in the latest available seven-day period, according to state health agency data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Total US infections during the same week numbered more than 452,000. The heavy concentration of new cases in states that account for 22% of the US population has prompted some experts and elected officials to call for President Biden's administration to ship additional vaccine doses to those places.
So far, the White House has shown no signs of shifting from its policy of dividing vaccine doses among states based on population, reports the AP. The spike in cases has been especially pronounced in Michigan, where the seven-day average of daily new infections reached 6,719 cases Sunday—more than double what it was two weeks earlier. California and Texas, which have vastly larger populations than Michigan, are reporting less than half its number of daily infections. Still, Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she doesn't plan to tighten restrictions. She has blamed the virus surge on pandemic fatigue, which has people moving about more, as well as more contagious variants. As of Tuesday, 31 US states were reporting seven-day averages of fewer than 1,000 new daily cases.
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