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The state of Michigan is currently leading the nation’s list on confirmed cases of COVID-19, with the state reporting a 7-day average of 8,457 new cases and an average of 4,092 new hospitalizations—a 41% increase over the last two weeks. Michigan, whose governor is a Democrat, has only vaccinated 54% of its population.
When taking into account the total population of the state, the state of Michigan has a total of 85 new cases, and 41 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. These numbers are far higher than those in the rest of the country, where there are only 16 hospitalizations, and 25 new cases per 100,000 residents. According to the Detroit News, the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state is currently filling 80% of hospital beds.
While Michigan is currently withstanding the heaviest brunt of the COVID pandemic, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has yet to make any communication effort to address the issue. The governor has also not made any reference to life-saving monoclonal antibody treatment, which was heavily advertised by the state of Florida earlier this summer when facing their peak of the Delta variant.
The COVID increase in Michigan comes at a time when both the Biden administration and other world governments are becoming increasingly worried over the potential dangers that might be created by the recently-discovered Omicron variant, from which scientists are still trying to learn if its mutations will pose a significant challenge to the immunization gained by the vaccines.
Does the Michigan surge prove that COVID is seasonal?
The rise of COVID in Michigan comes a few months after the Delta variant also swept the south of the United States, where currently the pandemic is at an all-time low, with Florida reporting tourist visits that are reaching pre-pandemic levels and having the lowest reported COVID cases in the country.
At the time when Florida was facing its summer COVID surge, Governor DeSantis said that seasonality might be playing a significant factor in the growing rise of contagions, a claim that the Washington Post labeled as “misleading”.
However, the difference of COVID cases among regions appears to support the theory that the disease follows a seasonal pattern, with the current spikes confirming a model created this year that predicted a COVID wave in the south during the summer and a similar resurgence in the northern-central states.
Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.