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President Biden trumpeted the strong July jobs report on Friday as evidence that his economic plans are working, but emphasized that more work still needs to be done to ensure the economy's full recovery as the Delta variant continues to spread.

Why it matters: The U.S. added 943,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate fell from 5.9% to a new pandemic-era low of 5.4%. But the jobs survey was taken in mid-July — meaning it doesn’t fully reflect possible effects from the recent surge in COVID-19 infections driven by the Delta variant.

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Driving the news: White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar announced Friday that half of the entire U.S. population is now fully vaccinated.

  • The seven-day average of newly vaccinated people is up 11% from last week and 44% over past two weeks, according to Shapar.
  • In an address from the White House on Friday, Biden explicitly tied together the economic recovery and the increased pace of vaccinations.

What they're saying: Biden highlighted the fact that his administration was the first to add 4 million jobs during its first six months, but insisted that his message was not one of celebration.

  • "This new Delta variant wave of COVID-19 will be very different ... And yes, cases are going to go up before they come back down. It's a pandemic of the unvaccinated. ... It's taking a needless toll on our country," Biden said.
  • "We have a lot of hard work left to be done, both to beat the Delta variant, and to continue our advance of economic recovery. We all know what it starts with," he continued.
  • "Today, about 400 people will die because of the Delta variant in this country. A tragedy. Because virtually all of these deaths were preventable if people had gotten vaccinated."

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

Illinois mandates daycare workers to receive COVID vaccine or weekly testing

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students in October 2018. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced Friday that all daycare workers in the state will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or or submit to weekly testing.

Driving the news: Pritzker said he was issuing the requirement to protect "babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine."

Oct 21, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado COVID cases pose continued concern

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state continue to climb, with case counts here outpacing all but two states nationwide.

By the numbers: Colorado stands out as one of only 10 states that saw infections increase during the past two weeks, a New York Times analysis shows.