Biden thinks cities and states should give you $100 for getting vaccinated

July 29, 2021, 8:37 PM UTC

Cases are surging, some mask mandates are being reinstituted, and the U.S. still hasn’t reached President Biden’s July 4 goal to vaccinate 70% of Americans with at least one dose of the COVID vaccine almost a month later.

To boost the country’s vaccination rate, Biden said Thursday that state and local governments should offer $100 to every newly vaccinated person using funds from his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. This comes after New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday a $100 perk for getting vaccinated.

There has been a steep rise in COVID cases over the past two weeks. Many southern states and a few states in New England have experienced more than 200% increases in the number of new COVID cases in the last two weeks.

At the same time, the rate of vaccinations barely increased between late June and July. Only 69.4% of Americans have been vaccinated with at least one dose as of publication.

Leading in the increase of new COVID cases is Rhode Island, which has seen a 340% jump based on a Fortune analysis of New York Times data. Sixty-one percent of people are fully vaccinated in the state, according to the Times, one of the higher percentages in the country.

Gov. Dan McKee, a democrat, in May lifted Rhode Island’s maximum capacities for businesses and social gatherings. Fully vaccinated people are also no longer required to wear masks in the state. On Wednesday, after the CDC issued new mask guidance, the governor recommended that schools in the state require students and faculty to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

Rhode Island’s neighboring states, Connecticut and Massachusetts, have also seen spikes in COVID cases greater than 200% in the last 14 days. States in New England have some of the highest vaccination rates in the country. About 63% of Connecticut’s population is fully vaccinated, and about 64% of Massachusetts’s population is too, according to the New York Times.

Southern states have also seen massive spikes in new COVID cases, with lower vaccination numbers. Louisiana and Alabama both had spikes more than 200% in new cases in the last 14 days. Louisiana had 36.7% of its population fully vaccinated as of publication, while Alabama had the lowest vaccination rate of the 50 states at 34.2%.  

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