The United States has now surpassed 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, a grim milestone that also serves as reminder that, while Americans are largely returning to their normal lives, the pandemic is not yet over.
What You Need To Know
- The United States on Tuesday surpassed 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University
- Due to vaccinations, the pace of deaths, however, has slowed considerably
- Despite the dropoff, the United States still leads all countries in coronavirus deaths, accounting for nearly one-sixth of the world’s 3.8 million deaths
- On Monday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for a moment of silence to remember the lives lost
As of Tuesday afternoon, the pandemic’s U.S. death toll stood at 600,012, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The pace of deaths, however, has slowed considerably. It took the country just 36 days to jump from 300,000 deaths to 400,000, and then another 34 days to reach a half-million in February. But another 113 days passed before the U.S. hit the 600,000 marker.
Vaccinations have, no doubt, been the reason. More than 174 million Americans (52.5% of the population) have received at least one vaccine dose, while nearly 145 million (43.7%) are fully vaccinated.
As a result, the number of new infections has plummeted from about 250,000 a day in mid-January to around 12,000 today, while deaths have fallen from nearly 3,600 a day to about 330 over the same timeframe, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite the dropoff, the United States still leads all countries in coronavirus deaths, accounting for nearly one-sixth of the world’s 3.8 million deaths. The 600,000 Americans who have died exceed the populations of each Milwaukee and Baltimore.
And the U.S. death toll might be even higher than what Johns Hopkins or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which analyzes COVID-19 data, estimates the true number is 924,000.
On Monday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers gathered on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for a moment of silence to remember the lives lost. Among those who participated were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
“As our fellow Americans are taking their masks off, going back to work, seeing families and friends, and returning as they should to life, let us remember those who cannot," Schumer said on Senate floor earlier Monday, according to ABC News. "Let us hold them in our hearts a little while longer."