As the number of COVID cases spike across the U.S., three states are making up 40% of all new infections, according to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.

During a White House coronavirus briefing on Thursday, Zients said that Florida, Texas and Missouri are the states of concern, with Florida alone contributing to one in five new infections for the second week in a row.

Zients cited low vaccination rates for the increase in COVID cases.

“The data is clear: The case increases are concentrated in communities with low vaccination rates. In fact, the counties with the highest case rates have significantly lower vaccination rates than counties with lower case rates.”

He cited the highest COVID cases rates in the past week in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nevada, which he said “ had a higher rate of people getting newly vaccinated compared to the national average.

“People in these states are feeling the impact of being unvaccinated and responding with action. And across the country, in the past 10 days, more than 5.2 million Americans have gotten a shot,” Zients said.

To date, over 162.1 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for 48.8% of the country’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But in recent months, the push to get Americans vaccinated has waned, a concern that is growing as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread across the nation.

On Tuesday, the CDC said the Delta variant accounts for 83% of new infections in the U.S. The agency also said it is responsible for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths of unvaccinated people.

According to Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who also spoke during Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, 99.5% of all COVID-19 deaths are unvaccinated people, with 97% of hospitalization also among unvaccinated individuals.

Pfizer-BioNTech_COVID-19_vaccine_(2020)_E Currently, the states with the lowest vaccination rates are Mississippi, Alabama, Wyoming and Arkansas. Photo: Creative Commons