Nearly half of the nation’s new COVID-19 cases are concentrated in just five states — including New York, which had the highest number of new infections across the country last week, data show.
Together, New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey accounted for 44 percent of all new infections between March 29 and April 4 with about 197,500 cases out of around 452,000 seen nationwide, data from John Hopkins University show.
New York, which recorded 52,922 cases last week, or an average of about 7,560 a day, accounted for about 12 percent of the nation’s total cases.
Just behind the Empire State was Michigan, which has been grappling with a surge of new infections and recorded 47,036 new positives over the last week, or an average of about 6,719 each day — nearly double what it was two weeks ago, data show.
Nursing student Joshua Severeide prepares to give doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Flint, Michigan.Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP
Together, New York and Michigan accounted for 22 percent of all new cases across the nation last week.
Florida logged 37,927 cases, while Pennsylvania and New Jersey saw around 29,847 and 29,753 new infections, respectively.
The concentration of new cases has prompted some experts and elected officials to call on the Biden administration to ship additional vaccines to hotspots — though the White House has made no indication they plan to shift their policy.
While sending extra doses to hot spots sounds logical, it could mean states that are doing a better job of controlling the virus will see fewer doses, noted Dr. Elvin H. Geng, an infectious diseases professor at Washington University.
“You wouldn’t want to make those folks wait because they were doing better,” Geng explained.
“On the other hand, it only makes sense to send vaccines to where the cases are rising.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly demanded more vaccine supply from the federal government, saying Tuesday “We still need supply, supply, supply.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she asked the White House last week whether it’s considering sending extra vaccine to states like hers and was told all options are on the table.
She said she didn’t plan to tighten restrictions to handle the surge and instead blamed it on pandemic fatigue and more contagious variants of the virus.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he is constantly in talks with the White House about demand for the jabs, but stopped short of saying he’s asking for more doses to handle the high infection rate. He noted that vaccine shipments to the Garden State are up 12 percent in the last week — but he still questioned if it was enough.
Mayor Bill De Blasio has pleaded for more COVID-19 vaccines.Mark Lennihan/AP
“We constantly look at, OK, we know we’re going up,” Murphy said.
“But are we going up at the rate we should be, particularly given the amount of cases we have?”
With Post wires