COVID Live Updates: White House Task Force Holds Briefing as Delta Variant Overwhelms Hospitals

Live Updates

The White House COVID Task Force held a briefing Tuesday to share the latest COVID-19 data.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky were both in attendance.

The 7-day average of COVID-19 cases is about 129,000 cases per day and the average of new hospital admissions is just over 11,500 per day. The daily average of COVID-19 deaths increased to 896.

Vaccinations are up this month, as the U.S. averaged 900,000 vaccination given per day in August. This is an 80 percent increase from the previous month.

White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients encourage businesses, schools, local governments and colleges and universities to issue vaccine requirements.

"Bottom line, vaccination requirements work," Zients said. "They drive up vaccination rates."

However, Dr. Walensky said the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed data Monday that looked at an increase waning in vaccine effectiveness against COVID-29 infection.

The ACIP is looking into international and domestic data that suggests vaccine effectiveness is also waning against hospitalization.

The CDC's Dr. Sara Oliver told the ACIP Monday that the COVID-19 vaccine is still highly effective in preventing hospitalizations during the surge of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Vaccine effectiveness against infection ranges from 39 to 84 percent, while vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization remains high from 75 percent to 95 percent.

Dr. Walensky also advised Americans to stay safe over Labor Day weekend.

She said people spend time outside, wear masks in public regardless of status, and encourage others to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tune in now for this afternoon’s COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Fauci, Dr. Walensky, and Jeff Zients. https://t.co/6wWkXTOpWr

— White House COVID-19 Response Team (@WHCOVIDResponse) August 31, 2021

The live updates for this blog have ended.

COVID-19 Testing New York City
A man is attended to in a COVID-19 testing center at Times Square on August 30, 2021 in New York City. New York Governor Kathy Hochul informed that 12,000 people have died of COVID-19 than was reported under her predecessor, now reporting a total of 55,400 people died in New York State from coronavirus. Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress

CDC to review data suggesting waning vaccine effectiveness against hospitalizations

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to review data that looked at increase waning with vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said there is also a suggestion that vaccine effectiveness is waning against hospitalization.

This is based on CDC and international data that still needs to be reviewed by the ACIP.

"Our own data and international led to be concerned that the waning we're seeing in infection will soon lead to waning for hospitalization, severe disease and death," Dr. Walensky said.

"This is why it is so critical to plan ahead and remain ahead of the virus," she added.

White House looking into vaccine booster to "stay ahead of the virus"

White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients said it is "time to prepare Americans for the [COVID-19] booster shot."

He said that President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. is looking into booster shots in order to "stay ahead of the virus."

"We want to give states and pharmacies time to plan and be transparent with the American people about the latest data and CDC expertise to allow them to start planning," Zients said.

The booster shot is pending FDA conducting and independent evaluation and the CDC panel of outside experts issue booster dose recommendation, he added.

"This virus has proven to be unpredictable and we want to stay ahead of it and plan for every scenario," Zients said.

Daily average COVID-19 deaths increased to 896 deaths per day, CDC says

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky shared the latest COVID-19 data during the briefing Tuesday.

  • The 7-day average of COVID-19 cases is 129,418 cases per day.
  • The current 7-day average of new hospital admissions is 11,533 per day.
  • The daily death average has increased to 896 deaths per day.

"Vaccine requirements work," White House COVID Coordinator says

White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients said vaccine requirements are "already working to get more people vaccianted.

Since President Jor Biden announced that all federal employees would be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, over 800 colleges and universities, over 200 health care employers, small and large businesses across the country and dozens of state and local governments and school districts have issued similar vaccine requirements, Zients said.

"Tens of thousands of Americans are now covered by vaccination requirements," he added.

The number of job posting require vaccines are up 90 percent, Zients said, citing data from Indeed.com.

"Bottom line, vaccination requirements work," Zients said. "They drive up vaccination rates."

He encourages schools, businesses, local governments and colleges and universities to issue vaccine requirements.

CDC continues to ship "life-saving" COVID-19 therapeutics across the country

The U.S. COVID-19 surge response teams are working with 18 states to pull in personnel resources, supplies, expertise from across the country including from the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC, FEMA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran Affairs, White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients said.

The CDC has deployed more than 700 personnel across the country, surged supplies to overwhelmed health care systems, and expanded testing and the use of "life-saving" therapeutics.

"In August we've shipped more than 670,000 courses of therapeutics treatments. That's more than six times as many as we shipped in July," Zients said.

"These therapeutics prevent hospitalizations and save lives," he added.

CDC tells Americans to stay staff over Labor Day weekend

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Americans to stay safe over the holiday weekend to lessen the spread of the Delta variant.

Dr. Walensky advised that people spend time outside, wear masks in public regardless of status, and encourage others to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC also recommends unvaccinated people not travel during this time. Fully vaccinated people wearing masks can travel, Dr. Walensky said, although they should take the Delta risks into their own consideration.

80 percent increase in vaccines received from last month, CDC says

There was an 80 percent increase in COVID-19 vaccines received in August from the previous month, the CDC said.

White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients said the U.S. is averaging 900,000 vaccinations per day in August. That is up from an average of 500,000 per day in July.

We remain focused on getting more shots in arms, and we continue to build momentum:

In mid-July, we were averaging 500,000 vaccinations per day. Today, we’re averaging 900,000.

That’s an 80% increase in the number of shots we’re getting into arms each day.

— White House COVID-19 Response Team (@WHCOVIDResponse) August 31, 2021

About 14 million people received their first shot in the month of August.

The CDC also said there were 6 million shots given last week, the biggest weekly total since July 5.

CDC continues aid in states hit my Hurricane Ida

The CDC said there are over 350 EMTs, doctors, nurses and health care personnel providing emergency medical care on the ground in the Gulf States of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi that were hit by Hurricane Ida earlier this week.

"Since July, the CDC has sent supplies like ventilators, therapeutic and ambulances to support the strained health care systems in those states as they respond to Delta," White House COVID Coordinator Jeff Zients said during a briefing Tuesday.