From a range of 11000-13000 cases two weeks ago, the seven day average of daily infections in the United States has more than doubled to 28315 on Thursday.

With 28412 additional cases reporting, the national total has increased to 33,975,711, as per the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

In contrast to infection rate, COVID casualties in the U.S. continue to remain at a controlled rate.

With an additional 283 deaths reporting in the last 24 hours, the total COVID death toll in the country reached 608,400.

Florida reported the most number of cases – 7011 – and COVID-related deaths – 45 – on Thursday.

A total of 29,341,913 people have so far recovered from the disease in the country.

A total of 336,054,953 vaccine doses have been administered so far nationally. 185,135,757 people have received at least one dose.

160.4 million people, or 48.3 percent of the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

79.3 percent of people above 65 have received both vaccine doses.

At a news conference Thursday, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation has led people to resist wearing masks in high-risk settings. “It’s led them to turn down proven treatments and to choose not to get vaccinated. This has led to avoidable illnesses and death. Simply put, health [mis]information has cost us lives,” he told reporters.

Murthy said that in this context, he issued a Surgeon General’s Advisory on the dangers of health misinformation. Surgeon General Advisories are reserved for urgent public health threats.

The advisory includes recommendations for people to raise the bar for sharing health information by checking sources before they share, to ensure that information is backed by credible, scientific sources. “If you’re not sure, don’t share,” says the advisory.

Murthy asked health organizations to proactively address misinformation with their patients.

Thursday, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced an educational campaign to help parents navigate online health information.

Also, the Rockefeller Foundation has announced a $13.5 million commitment to counter health misinformation.

The Digital Public Library of America announced that they will convene a set of librarians, scholars, journalists, and civic leaders to confront health misinformation together.

US technology companies have been asked to operate with greater transparency and accountability. “We’re asking them to consistently take action against misinformation super-spreaders on their platforms,” Murthy told reporters.

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