An estimated 73 percent of those infected are now infected with the new variant, with the states of Washington and Florida being the most affected and with thousands of trips planned for the coming days.

“I’m glad to see people getting tested if they’re going to travel,” says a resident in the capital, “I guess that’s one of the reasons they’re doing it, with the vacations just around the corner. But it’s also probably because a lot of people are starting to not feel good about the new variant.”

Pending an official appearance by President Joe Biden on the current situation and actions to be taken, the U.S. is beginning to come to terms with a new and inevitable confinement.

“This is not a speech about the confinement of the country,” calmed from the White House his press secretary, Jen Psaki. “It’s a speech to describe and be direct and clear with the American people about the benefits of being vaccinated, the steps we’re going to take to increase access to vaccination and testing, and about the risks posed to the unvaccinated.”

The president’s chief medical advisor, Anthony Fauci, for his part, reminds us that all that needs to be done is to continue to follow through on the oft-repeated steps.

“If we do what we have been consistently and repeatedly recommending, namely vaccination, booster and mask mitigation in congregate settings, over time, we are confident, we will get this under control,” Fauci insisted.

U.S. experts agree that vaccines cannot completely protect people from becoming infected, although they do clearly reduce both the number of deaths and hospitalizations. Vaccination is the first and essential step.

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