The United States broke a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday with 132,646 patients currently being treated for the virus as cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant surge across the country.
However, despite the record hospitalizations, fewer Americans are dying from the virus and most that do appear to be those with multiple comorbidities, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
The director estimated in a recent Good Morning America interview that “the overwhelming number of deaths, over 75 percent, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities … So really, these are people who were unwell to begin with and yes, really encouraging news in the context of Omicron.”
She stressed the need to “protect people with comorbidities from severe #COVID19” in a tweet after many found her comments insensitive to those who have comorbidities or disabilities.
“I went into medicine – HIV specifically – and public health to protect our most at-risk,” she wrote. “CDC is taking steps to protect those at highest risk, incl. those w/chronic health conditions, disabilities, & older adults.”
Walensky discussed comorbidities further in a Sunday appearance on Fox News, when host Bret Baier asked Walensky how many of the total US deaths – now over 836,000, according to the CDC – can be attributed to comorbidities. She couldn’t say, but said the data “will be coming.”
The nation’s seven-day average for new cases has doubled in the last 10 days to 704,000. The U.S. has averaged over 500,000 for the last six consecutive days.
In New York State, hospitalizations grew to over 12,000 patients this past week. 42% of those hospitalized for the virus were admitted for other reasons, roughly the same percentage as last week. The state reported 54,000 cases and 135 deaths.
With Post wires