Coronavirus tally: U.S. sets fresh hospitalizations record as experts lament Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates

The average number of Americans who are currently in hospitals with COVID-19 set another record, as the highly transmissible omicron variant continued to spread across the country, a day after the Supreme Court struck down a Biden administration vaccine mandate for large companies. There were 148,782 people in hospitals with COVID-19 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker, up 79% from two weeks ago and the most since the start of the pandemic. The daily average case number rose to 803,736, up 133% from two weeks ago, while the daily average for COVID-19-related deaths is up 53% from two weeks ago to 1,873. Experts expressed their disappointment at the Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates, with three liberal judges arguing that it was overreaching by substituting its judgment for that of health experts. Dr. Zeke Emanuel, adviser to Joe Biden and vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, called it a “terrible ruling” in a tweet, and a disaster for the fight against COVID. “Vaccination in the workplace is key to reducing risk to workers and the risk to all of us from this disease,” he wrote.
On a global basis, the total tally for COVID-19 cases hiked up above 320.5 million and the death toll rose above 5.52 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world with a total COVID-19 case count of 64 million and death toll of 846,488.

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