Check the public health consequences of political ideology as the plague continues to spike locally . . .
Missouri now leads the nation with the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections, and the surge is happening largely in a politically conservative farming region in the northern part of the state and in the southwestern corner, which includes Springfield and Branson, the country music mecca in the Ozark Mountains where big crowds are gathering again at the city's theaters and other attractions.
While over 53% of all Americans have received at least one shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most southern and northern Missouri counties are well short of 40%. One county is at just 13%.
Cases remain below their winter highs in southwestern Missouri, but the trajectory is steeper than in previous surges . . .As of Tuesday, 153 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized at Mercy and another Springfield hospital, Cox Health, up from 31 just over a month ago, county figures show.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - As the U.S. emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, Missouri is becoming a cautionary tale for the rest of the country: It is seeing an alarming rise in cases because of a combination of the fast-spreading delta variant and stubborn resistance among many people to getting vaccinated.
Sadly related . . .
Jim Bakker and his southwestern Missouri church will pay restitution of $156,000 to settle a lawsuit that accuses the TV pastor of falsely claiming that a health supplement could cure the coronavirus.Missouri court records show that a settlement agreement was filed Tuesday.