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

New coronavirus infections continue to rise across the U.S., perpetuating a preventable wave of suffering that's already straining hospitals and killing an average of 1,000 Americans per day.

The big picture: The biggest increases are happening primarily in a cluster of states where vaccination rates are low and safety measures like masks are spotty.

By the numbers: The U.S. is now averaging over 150,000 new coronavirus cases per day — a 22% increase over the past two weeks.

  • Infections are rising in 46 states. Tennessee had the biggest spikes in the number of new cases, followed closely by a cluster of nearby Southeastern states as well as Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

What's happening: In general, the states with the lowest vaccination rates are now seeing the biggest growth in new infections, and many of those same states are so overwhelmed with seriously ill COVID patients that they're running out of ICU beds.

  • All of the available real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccines prevent serious illness extremely well. The overwhelming majority of people sick enough to be in the hospital are unvaccinated, as are almost all of the people who die from their infections.

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Rand Paul claims vindication in battle with Anthony Fauci

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Mike Allen in an interview for "Axios on HBO" that President Biden should fire Anthony Fauci "just for lack of judgment, if nothing else."

The big picture: Paul claims vindication in his dispute with Fauci, played out at heated Senate hearings, over the level of risk of U.S.-funded research in Wuhan, where COVID began.

1 hour ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

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