The US has reached a grim milestone of more than 600,000 coronavirus deaths, even as the number of lives lost and cases decreases amid an aggressive vaccination campaign.
America’s death toll stood at 600,012 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. As a point of reference, 600,000 people could fill Yankee Stadium in New York City. The US’s Covid-19 death toll is more than 200 times the number of people who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and is approaching the number of fatalities in the 1918 influenza pandemic.
‘It is still very real,’ Shamayne Cruz, a respiratory therapist at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, told ABC News. ‘It is still something that is very serious and should be taken very seriously.’
Just over one year ago, the US recorded 100,000 Covid-19 deaths. The US experienced about 100,000 deaths per month in the winter. Coronavirus vaccines allowed the US to begin turning a corner in the spring. The average number of deaths daily is now down to about 375 from 3,000 in January.
The impact of vaccines is evidenced by comparing the time frame between 100,000 deaths. A month passed between the 400,000 and 500,000 death toll marks. Meanwhile, reaching 600,000 deaths took almost four times as long. Daily coronavirus infections reflect a similar story, with a peak in January of 300,000 new cases a day falling to less than 15,000 daily infections currently, according to Johns Hopkins.
President Joe Biden has been urging Americans to help him reach his goal of having at least 70% of adults with at least one vaccine by the July 4. However, the country is on pace to reach just 67% to 68% by the holiday, according to CNN.