A member of US Congress and several staffers all of whom are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus have contracted the virus, Capitol Physician Brian Monahan said on Tuesday.
"Several vaccinated Congressional staffer members and one member of Congress have acquired infection," Monahan said in an email.
Monahan said the Delta variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Washington, DC, and in the Capitol buildings, and it presents a risk to people who are unvaccinated.
French Health Ministry Olivier Veran said on Tuesday that the number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in France per one day has increased by 150% week-on-week.
Veran said that 18,000 COVID-19 infections were recorded in the past 24 hours, whereas last week the figure was 7,000.
"It means that we are having a roughly 150% increase in the spread of the virus in one week — we have never seen anything like this before, neither with COVID-19, nor with the English variant, nor with the South-African one, nor with the Brazilian one," the minister was quoted as saying by BFMTV.
This past weekend, thousands of French took part in protests against COVID-19 vaccination and health passes, which France plans to introduce in August. The passes are designed to show that the bearer is either vaccinated or possesses a recent negative COVID-19 test result.
A White House official and a senior staff member for US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had been both fully vaccinated have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Hill reported, citing Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff for Pelosi.
Neither individual had close contact with President Biden or Pelosi, officials said, but the cases reflect the ongoing threat of the virus to lawmakers, administration officials and their staff as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Both infected individuals experience mild symptoms after they attended the same reception atop the Hotel Eaton in Washington DC last Wednesday, the report said.
The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus has dramatically spiked in the United States and accounts for more than 80 percent of cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said on Tuesday.
"CDC has released estimates of variance across the country and predicted the Delta variant now represents 83 percent of sequenced cases," Walensky told a US Senate hearing on the status of the coronavirus pandemic. "This is a dramatic increase, up from 50 percent for the week of July 3rd in some parts of the country."
Walensky said the rate of Delta variant’s infections was even higher in areas of low vaccination rates in the United States.
"The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variance is to prevent the spread of disease and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have. We must continue vaccine coverage by building trust and confidence in COVID-19 vaccines," Walensky said.
Vaccines have been available to most Americans for months, but less than 50 percent of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated and the rate of new vaccinations is on the decline, according to the CDC.
In 47 of the 50 US states, the rate of new cases in the past week are at least 10 percent higher than the previous week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of those, 35 states have seen increases in cases of more than 50 percent.