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At the White House coronavirus team briefing a little earlier, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of taking a laissez-faire attitude towards the “milder” Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Rochelle Walensky before a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this month.

Rochelle Walensky before a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this month. Photograph: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / REX / Shutterstock

“Milder does not mean mild,” Walensky said, of the coronavirus variant still raging in the US and many other parts of the world. She added: “Now is the time to do what we know works. Wear a mask, get vaccinated and get boosted. ”

At the briefing, it was announced that the US has donated over 400 million vaccine doses to 112 countries, marking a major milestone in the White House’s goal of donating 1.2 billion vaccine doses under Joe Biden’s direction.

White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said that the total donation is four times higher than that of any other country.

Zients also revealed that the country hit another major milestone this week, with 70% of eligible seniors, who are most at risk and most vulnerable, having now received their booster shot. And half of all eligible adults are now boosted.

“This is significant progress as the doctors and data have made crystal clear. Vaccinations and boosters provide the best protection, ”Zients said.

Over the past week, the daily averages of cases and hospital admissions have decreased, according to Walensky.

The current seven-day daily average of Covid-19 cases is approximately 692,400 cases per day, a 6% decrease over the previous week. The seven-day average of hospital admissions is around 19,800 per day, an 8% decrease over the previous seek.

However, the seven-day average daily deaths are around 2,200 per day, an increase of around 21% over the previous week.

“These data demonstrate that Covid-19 disease severity appears to be lower with the Omicron variant than with prior variants… Although it is encouraging that Omicron appears to be causing less severe disease, it is important to remember that we are still facing a high overall burden of disease. Milder does not mean mild, ”the director said.

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