US Reaches Half a Million COVID-19 Deaths As Vaccine Deployment Increases

At least half a million people have died from COVID-19 in the US, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Although the deployment of the coronavirus vaccine promises fewer cases and fewer deaths soon, the death rate remains high; the last 100,000 deaths occurred in just over a month.

Half a million deaths, by far the highest death toll in any country, equates to roughly 1 in 650 Americans who die from a disease that has been circulating across the country for nearly a year. The number of deaths equals the entire population of Atlanta, Miami or Kansas City, Missouri.

Illustration: Yenwei Liu / HuffPost; Photos: Getty

“That is more Americans who have died in a single year from this pandemic than in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. “On this solemn occasion, we reflect on her loss and on her loved ones left behind.”

Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses will lead a moment of silence at the White House at sunset Monday and invite all Americans to participate. The president also ordered that all flags be flown at half-mast on all public buildings and grounds.

South Carolina is the latest hotbed for COVID-19, with the state reporting one of the highest case rates in recent days. As of the end of January, it was the first place in the US to report the presence of a coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, which appears to be about 50% more transmissible than previous strains.

The disease continues to have a disproportionate effect on non-white Americans. Black, Latino, and Native American people are two to two and a half times more likely to die from the virus than white people.

A member of the staff of the & nbsp;  Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in New York transfers a body to a refrigerated truck on April 2, 2020,

ANGELA WEISS / AFP via Getty Images

A staff member at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in New York transfers a body to a refrigerated truck on April 2, 2020, as coronavirus cases ravaged the city and state.

Still, reasons for hope have emerged. The United States has an average of 81,000 new cases a day, the lowest level since early November. People’s vaccination rate, which got off to a rocky start at the end of last year, has roughly doubled in the last month.

Biden recently announced that hundreds of millions of additional vaccines would arrive in the US ahead of schedule, putting the country on track to have enough doses for nearly the entire population in July.

“That may not sound like the urgent progress we need, but let’s be clear: When I took office just three weeks ago, this country didn’t have a plan,” Biden said at the time, referring to the missteps in the former president. Donald Trump. national response to the pandemic.


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