The number of new coronavirus infections across the country is trending in the wrong direction. In just the past month, the U.S. has seen a 30% increase in new cases.
FAITH ABUBEY: This morning, Beaumont Health Systems sounding the alarm in Michigan, as hospital capacity reaches critical levels, at least 24 hospitals already reporting they're at 90% capacity.
- We are in our third surge, which is just like a runaway train right now.
FAITH ABUBEY: Some hospitals setting up triage centers outside to handle the influx of new COVID patients.
- It's just no more room. ICUs are filling up. Unfortunately, ventilators are being taken up as well.
FAITH ABUBEY: The surge, reflected in the nationwide data. In just the last month, more than a 30% spike in COVID cases, the seven-day average hovering at 67,000 new infections. On Capitol Hill--
JIM JORDAN: What does it have to be?
- Time expired, sir. You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.
FAITH ABUBEY: Congressman Jim Jordan, clashing with Dr. Anthony Fauci over restrictions meant to keep the virus spread in check.
JIM JORDAN: This is how scary it's gotten, and the longer it goes, the scarier, it's going to be for the liberties that we as American citizens have.
FAITH ABUBEY: Dr. Fauci firing, back.
ANTHONY FAUCI: We're now talking about liberties, we're talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans.
FAITH ABUBEY: The tense exchange coming as Pfizer reveals that those who get its two-shot vaccine might need a third jab within a year, the CDC also releasing new data on vaccines, saying of the more than 66 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated, only 5,800 COVID infections have been reported, significantly less than 1%. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, still on pause, meanwhile, efforts to immunize Americans, moving at a record pace.
JEN PSAKI: We have 3.5 million COVID shots yesterday. This is a new Thursday record.
FAITH ABUBEY: And health experts point out the CDC data on breakthrough infections isn't actually surprising. In fact, it shows just how effective these vaccines are. In Washington, Faith Abubey, ABC News.