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Infections rise in 42 states; Fauci says it is ‘horrifying’ to see individuals cheer lack of vaccinations: COVID-19 updates

Forty-two states saw an increase in COVID-19 cases last week from the week before, a sign that the pandemic is not yet over in the United States.

Only Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia saw a decline in cases over the seven-day period that ended Saturday from the previous week.

The rate of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, and less than half of all Americans, 47.9%, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walinsky says more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. in June were among unvaccinated people. In addition, preliminary data indicates that over the past six months, nearly all of the COVID-19 deaths in various states have occurred in unvaccinated people, she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top Biden administration adviser, said Sunday that it was “horrifying” to see people at the Conservative Political Action Conference cheering because the government has struggled to get more of the country vaccinated.

“They are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives,” Fauci said. “It’s almost frightening.”

Also in the news:

►As many adolescents and young adults prepare to return to the classroom in the fall amid the spread of the delta variant, the lagging vaccination rate among Generation Z is raising concerns among experts.

►The bar scene returns in full force as people reemerge and ditch COVID precautions.

►The Navajo Nation’s largest casino is preparing to reopen Monday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. The Twin Arrows Resort Casino east of Flagstaff has been closed since March 2020.

►CONMEBOL said guests at the Copa America final on Saturday brought false COVID-19 tests to Maracana Stadium. The South American governing body said in a statement it detected “a considerable amount of fraudulent PCR tests” brought by accredited guests.

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►Moldova is set to receive half a million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States to help the small nation combat the coronavirus pandemic. The first 150,000 doses of J&J are to arrive in Moldova – a country of 3.5 million, Europe’s poorest sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine – on Monday, the U.S. Embassy officials in Moldova said.

📈Today’s numbers: The U.S. has had more than 33.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 607,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: more than 186 million cases and more than 4 million deaths. More than 15 million Americans – 47.9 % of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘What we’re reading: The CDC has updated its mask guidelines for schools. Some states will listen, some won’t. Read more here.

Keep refreshing this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates directly to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Couples flock to Las Vegas to tie the knot as pandemic wanes

Thousands of couples are flocking to Las Vegas as the coronavirus pandemic wanes and vaccinations rise in a wedding boom that has the local wedding industry in high demand. And with COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings loosened, Las Vegas wedding chapels, venues and planners said they’re about as busy as ever.

After 30 years of marriage, Don and Cindy Couse made the cross-country trip from New York to renew their wedding vows at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. Friends and family back home watched and cheered through Zoom during the ceremony. The two met about five decades ago in Albany, New York, in 1971 during kindergarten class and have had a bond ever since. The trip was good timing for couple, who are both 51 and work in IT. After over a year of quarantine, they were in need of a getaway. “Really, it was just great to be back out doing things,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

White House calling out critics of door-to-door vaccine push

For months, the Biden White House refrained from criticizing Republican officials who played down the importance of coronavirus vaccinations or sought to make political hay of the federal government’s all-out effort to drive shots into arms. Not any longer. With the COVID-19 vaccination rate plateauing across the country, the White House is returning fire at those they see as spreading harmful misinformation or fear about the shots. When South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tried this week to block door-to-door efforts to drive up the vaccination rate in his state, White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not mince words in her reaction.

“The failure to provide accurate public health information, including the efficacy of vaccines and the accessibility of them to people across the country, including South Carolina, is literally killing people, so maybe they should consider that,” she said.

Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Infections up in 42 states; CPAC attendees cheer low vaccination rate

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