COVID-19: US surpasses .4m deaths

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The United States has reported at least 400,000 deaths from Covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of Tuesday afternoon.

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines
The latest on the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines
That’s more than the number of Americans who died in World War I, Vietnam War and the Korean War combined, and nearly as many Americans who died in World War II. It’s far higher than any other country’s Covid-19 death toll.

The pandemic’s death toll has risen sharply in increments of 100,000 since the first coronavirus death in the United States was reported February 29 in Washington state. (Later in the spring, two earlier deaths in California were posthumously confirmed to be from Covid-19.)

84 days after the first recorded death, the US surpassed 100,000 deaths on May 23, 2020.
121 days later, the US surpassed 200,000 deaths on September 21, 2020.
84 days later, the US surpassed 300,000 deaths on December 14, 2020.
36 days later, on January 19, 2021, the US topped 400,000 deaths.
Those who’ve died will be in focus Tuesday evening, when President-elect Joe Biden, one day ahead of his inauguration in the nation’s capital, is set to attend a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool at 5:30 p.m. ET to honor Covid-19 victims.

Biden’s inaugural committee is inviting cities and towns across the country to join in by illuminating buildings and ringing church bells “in a national moment of unity and remembrance.”

All of this comes almost a year after the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in the US. And it comes after brutal surges in recent weeks, during which the US saw hundreds of thousands of new cases daily and hospitalization and daily deaths hit all-time highs.

The US has recorded an average of 3,237 Covid-19 deaths a day over the last seven days — just below the pandemic’s peak average of 3,377 reached on January 13. And more than 123,800 Covid-19 patients were reported to be in US hospitals Monday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

While that hospitalization number is down from a January 6 peak of 132,474, hospitals and health care workers across the country are still under tremendous pressure. In Georgia, one hospital was so full it had to treat patients in hallways and ambulances, an official there told CNN affiliate WSB.

In Texas, the city of Laredo has run out of ICU beds and sent an emergency message to residents urging them to stay home, city spokeswoman Noraida Negron said. Over the weekend, the city’s hospitals were diverting patients to facilities in other areas.

“We had no beds whatsoever,” Negron said.

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