Experts: The Delta variant could create "two Americas" of COVID

Experts say we may be about to see the emergence of “two Americas” of COVID: One with high rates of vaccination where the Delta coronavirus variant poses little threat, and the other with low levels of vaccination that will be vulnerable to renewed deadly surges. That divide is driven in large part by partisan politics, with vaccination rates highest in liberal cities and lowest in conservative strongholds across the Deep South and in rural areas across the nation.

"I call it two COVID nations,” Peter Hotez, a vaccine researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told BuzzFeed News.

Wherever there are low rates of vaccination, the virus will continue to circulate and mutate, increasing the risk that new, more dangerous variants will emerge. With vaccination across most of the world lagging far behind the US, the Delta variant is likely to be followed by others.