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4.6 million Americans vaccinated in just one day

Senator Richard Blumenthal has consistently urged veterans to get vaccinated.

Video Transcript

- A country ramping up the race to vaccinate. Over the weekend, a record-breaking 4.6 million Americans were vaccinated in just one day. Deaths from the virus also dropping, but an alarming rise in cases is threatening a fourth wave of the pandemic. ABC's Faith Abubey is live in Washington this morning with the very latest for us. Good morning to you, Faith.

FAITH ABUBEY: Hey, good morning to you, Shirleen. COVID hotspots from New York to Michigan are leaving health officials scrambling. In just the past week in the upper Midwest, hospitalizations surged nearly 30%.

This morning, health care workers in Michigan overwhelmed, hospital beds filling up with COVID patients quicker than staff can keep up.

JEFF MORAWSKI: The other day, with 60 patients, there's eight- to 10-hour waits. We don't have enough nurses.

FAITH ABUBEY: The situation rivaling the peak of last year. Michigan now the epicenter of the alarming rise in COVID cases across the country. The positivity rate, the highest it's been since April of last year.

KIM STASIK: It's breaking our hearts. We're exhausted emotionally. The things that we're seeing, our health care workers, they're suffering.

FAITH ABUBEY: The Biden administration sending help to vaccinate more people in the state. The Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer pleading for more shots.

GRETCHEN WHITMER: When there is a surge, we think that it's important that we-- we go to-- we rush in to meet where that need is.

FAITH ABUBEY: Over the weekend, the US vaccination effort shattering its previous record. 4.6 million Americans received a dose on Saturday alone. But this week, the US anticipating a potentially devastating 85% drop in Johnson & Johnson's vaccine supply. This, amid fears-- though rare-- that the variant found in South Africa could break through the Pfizer vaccine.

YVONNE MALDONADO: This is evidence that it may happen. We don't know the extent, but we still need to be careful.

FAITH ABUBEY: In New York after 72 days in the hospital, battling the virus, Alfredo Hercules grateful to be home with his family.

ALFREDO HERCULES: You don't really know how much you'll miss something until it was-- until it's taken away from you.

FAITH ABUBEY: 39 states have now expanded vaccine eligibility to people 16 years and older. Three more are expected to add to that list this week.