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1. More contagious delta variant now makes up 83% of new COVID-19 cases:
The week of July 3, the delta variant accounted for about 50% of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the U.S., but now it accounts for 83% of new US cases.
The CDC is sounding the alarm because delta is approximately 60% more contagious than the variant first found in the UK. In addition to rising infection rates, there are also increasing rates of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 as the delta variant spreads in communities in the U.S.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Senators COVID-19 fatalities have increased nearly 48% over the past week and now average 239 per day.
2. Will the show go on? Olympic leader hasn't ruled out last-minute cancellation
Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, said that a last-minute cancellation of the Olympics hasn’t been ruled out as athletes continue to test positive for the coronavirus..
The Olympics are set to officially begin following the opening ceremony on Friday. Though, a few preliminary events will happen before, like softball and soccer games scheduled to be played on Wednesday.
When Muto was asked if the Summer Games could still be canceled, Reuters and Yahoo Sports report that the CEO said he would keep an eye on infection rates and if necessary, he would consult with other organizers about the situation.
3. US life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII:
U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years.
The drop spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic, which health officials said is responsible for close to 74% of the overall life expectancy decline.
More than 3.3 million Americans died last year, far more than any other year in U.S. history, with COVID-19 accounting for about 11% of those deaths.
4. Going Buckwild: Milwaukee wins the NBA finals, Brady jokes with Biden
Giannis Antetokounmpo capped one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points — and a championship Milwaukee waited 50 years to win again. The Milwaukee Bucks beat Phoenix Suns 105-98 in Game 6 to win their first NBA championship since 1971.
They weren't the only Bucks celebrating yesterday. Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers visited President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday. Brady had skipped visits by the New England Patriots to the White House in 2015 and 2017.
"Not a lot of people think that we could have won. In fact, I think about 40% of people still don't think we won. You understand that, Mr. President?" Brady said to laughter. Biden responded, "I understand that."
Tom Brady: “Not a lot of people think that we could have won and in fact, I think 40% of the people still don’t think we won."— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) July 20, 2021
Biden: “I understand that” https://t.co/zWVPjevyq4 pic.twitter.com/EO3UcSBnrn
5. Speaking of Biden and Super Bowl champions: He's going to Disney World... sort of
Forget an inauguration ceremony. The true indicator of having made it as president is being added to the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World in Florida, an honor President Joe Biden will soon receive.
Disney World officials say that they were putting the finishing touches on the animatronic Biden replica ahead of its debut next month at the Magic Kingdom attraction that features a tableau of the nation’s presidents.
Next to him, a table will hold peach blossoms to represent his home state of Delaware and a pair of aviator sunglasses in a nod to his favorite eyewear.
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On This Day In History
On July 21, 2011, NASA’s space shuttle program completes its final, and 135th, mission, when the shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center.
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