Delta variant, resistance among some Americans to getting the vaccine, are concentrated mostly in South.

Covid-19 deaths and cases in the U.S. have climbed back to levels not seen since last winter, erasing months of progress, bolstering President Biden’s argument for his sweeping new vaccination requirements, the Associated Press reports.

Driven by the delta variant combined with resistance among some Americans to getting the vaccine has concentrated the worst effects in the South.

While Florida and Louisiana are improving, infection rates are soaring in Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee, fueled by children now back in school, loose mask restrictions and low vaccination levels.

The dire situation in some hospitals is starting to sound like January’s infection peak: Surgeries canceled in hospitals in Washington state and Utah. Severe staff shortages in Kentucky and Alabama. A lack of beds in Tennessee. Intensive care units at or over capacity in Texas.

The deteriorating picture nine months into the nation’s vaccination drive has angered and frustrated medical professionals who see the heartbreak as preventable. The vast majority of the dead and the hospitalized have been unvaccinated, in what has proved to be a hard lesson for some families.

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