Split - that is a word that has been heard a lot about the USA in recent years.
Now there is a new division preoccupying the country: vaccinated or not vaccinated?
Washington - Kay Ivey looks very upset.
The 76-year-old Republican is the governor of the US state Alabama.
“It's time to blame the unvaccinated people,” she grumbles.
"It's the unvaccinated people who let us down."
Actually, she says in front of the cameras, people should have common sense.
Your state of Alabama is at the bottom of the pack when it comes to vaccinating against corona.
And he is one of the countries that are currently hard hit again by the pandemic.
In the US there was astonishment at Ivey's testimony - such drastic words from the mouth of a Republican of all people?
Because it seems as if the question of vaccination in the USA has meanwhile also become a political question that runs along party lines.
The corona situation is becoming more and more serious and time is of the essence.
"We are at another crucial moment in this pandemic," warned CDC chief Rochelle Walensky.
In the spring, the USA was one of the model pupils when it comes to vaccinating, but in the meantime a certain vaccination fatigue has set in. Around 49 percent of the total population are now fully immunized - Germany now has a very similar rate. At the same time, the number of new corona infections in the USA has been increasing again for a few weeks - the delta variant is responsible for this. The situation is particularly tense in countries with a low vaccination rate.
According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the vaccination rate in the districts where many voted for Biden in the presidential election is significantly higher than where the then President Donald Trump received many votes. Remarkable: If the difference was not that great at the beginning, the gap has grown significantly in the past few months. A poll by the Washington Post and the broadcaster ABC News comes to the result that significantly more supporters of the Democrats than the Republicans have been vaccinated so far.
This phenomenon was particularly impressive a few weeks ago at the CPAC, an event organized by conservative activists. "The government was hoping that they could somehow get 90 percent of the population to get vaccinated," said author Alex Berenson on stage. "And that's not the case," he added - the crowd responded with applause and cheers. Surveys show that many unvaccinated people rate the risk of disease as lower than that of vaccination. Or simply not trust the US government.
More and more conservatives have long been calling for vaccinations.
"These syringes need to be in everyone's arms as soon as possible," said Senate Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell recently.
But there is no unified position among them - many conservatives and especially Trump supporters find it extremely difficult to deal with the issue.
A statement by the top presenter of the conservative TV broadcaster Fox News, Sean Hannity, caused a surprise.
He believed in the science of vaccination, he said on his broadcast.
A short time later he emphasized that this was just not a vaccination call for all Americans.
Observers see a slight change in course at the former Trump house broadcaster, as far as vaccination is concerned.
However, many of the station's moderators continue to rail against the vaccination.
The government has been trying to get people to vaccinate for weeks - and has also contacted Fox News and other broadcasters about the corona reporting. At the same time, the health authorities never tire of warning. "There are places in this country where the number of cases is high (...) and many of these regions have low vaccination coverage," said CDC boss Walensky recently. US health expert and presidential advisor Anthony Fauci emphasized at the beginning of July: If you look at the number of people who die from Covid-19, a good 99 percent of them are not vaccinated.
US President Joe Biden recently warned of a "pandemic among the unvaccinated".
Getting vaccinated is the "most patriotic" thing citizens can do now.
He practically begged the people on the national holiday (July 4th) to be poked.
The government also sees misinformation on social media such as Facebook as one reason for the lack of willingness to vaccinate.
"They're killing people," said Biden.
In Florida, the situation is currently particularly alarming.
About a fifth of all cases in the United States are currently recorded there.
In some hospitals it is now getting tight again.
Nationwide, the number of admissions is at a relatively low level - but where relatively few people are vaccinated, it rises again much more quickly.
But the vaccination appeals seem to be at least fruitful.
In fact, the five states with the highest case numbers - Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Nevada - have recently had more people vaccinated than the national average, said government corona coordinator Jeff Zients.
A change of heart?
Afraid of Delta?
The more serious the corona situation in the US becomes, the louder and clearer the blame will be there.
President Biden does not find such harsh words as the governor of Alabama.
But he also recently made it clear that vaccination has long been more than a private decision: "So it is extremely important that you behave like - we all behave like Americans who take care of our - our fellow Americans." Dpa