USA passes the milestone of 500,000 Covid deaths

Today, the US has passed 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, the most for any country in the world. It comes just over a year after the first infection of the novel coronavirus, first detected in China, was recorded on the US west coast. The grim milestone will be marked by a candle-lighting ceremony and moment of silence at the White House. President Joe Biden will also deliver remarks. More than 28.1 million Americans (8.7% pop) have been infected – another global record.

Timeline graph of the pandemic, showing there is still a long way to go.

Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of Americans who have had the coronavirus is nearly double that of second-highest India (11 million) and Brazil (10.1 million). Brazil has recorded the second-largest death toll at 244,000 while Mexico is in third with 178,000.

“People decades from now are going to be talking about this as a terribly historic milestone in the history of this country, to have these many people to have died from a respiratory-borne infection,” the nation’s top immunologist, Dr Anthony Fauci, told CNN on Sunday. “It is an astonishing number. A year ago I could not have imagined that half a million Americans would lose their lives to this disease,” said Dr Ashish Jha, dean of the school of public health at Brown University.

A family says goodbye to their father's flag draped coffin
Family mourn Gregory Blanks, 50, who died of Covid in January in Texas

President Joe Biden said in a White House proclamation remembering the dead. “That is more Americans who have died in a single year of this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined,” 

Despite the apparent improving figures, Americans’ life expectancy has dropped by one full year due to the coronavirus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week. The change has been most acute among racial minorities, who have been disproportionally affected by the deadly virus. Black men suffered the largest decline, with life expectancy dropping by three years between January and June 2020. And Hispanic men saw a fall in life expectancy of 2.4 years during that period. click full article

So there we have it. A terrible milestone, but entirely predictable and mainly due to the laissez-faire and shockingly inept attitude of the Trump administration to managing the pandemic, despite the best efforts of Dr Fauci.

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