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Photo: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A frustrated Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) told reporters Thursday that "it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks" for the state's continued surge in new COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: Alabama has reported nearly 8,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the past week. It's one of the few states in the country with fewer than 40% of residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The big picture: Nationwide, the average number of new cases per day was up 55% over the past week — a surge driven primarily by unvaccinated people. 97% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 infections are unvaccinated, the CDC said last week. Federal officials have previously said that about 99% of people who die from the virus weren’t vaccinated.

What she's saying: "Let’s be crystal clear about this issue. And media, I want you to start reporting the facts," Ivey said. "The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks."

  • "Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain," she continued.
  • "Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the vaccinated folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down. I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something but I can’t make you take care of yourself. "

Worth noting: Even as she pleads with residents to get vaccinated, Ivey has said she has no plans of implementing a mask mandate in schools, despite pediatrician recommendations.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Over 26K NYC workers remain unvaccinated after Friday deadline

Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Over 26,000 New York City municipal workers are unvaccinated after a Friday deadline to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, AP reports.

Driving the news: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expanded a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Oct. 20 that covers all of the city's public employees, including police officers and firefighters. Nearly 46,000 unvaccinated employees needed to receive one dose by Friday.

Oct 30, 2021 - Health

Anxiety and depression symptoms vary by age and race

Data: CDC; Note: Asian, Black and white respondents identified as non-Hispanic and are of a single race; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Young adults and people of color are disproportionately reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, according to CDC data.

By the numbers: The portion of U.S. adults reporting these symptoms has hovered around 30% since this spring — a drop from the more than 40% of adults reporting symptoms last winter.

  • In 2019, only 11% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, per the CDC.
Oct 30, 2021 - Health

1 hopeful thing: Nature is healing

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Getting outside is good for us — especially in a pandemic.

The big picture: Nature's benefits for mental health and well-being are part of the human experience and have been studied for decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic is a real-time experiment in studying exactly how green spaces can help us in difficult times.