Get our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
I have already subscribed | Do not show this message again
Your email has been successfully registered.
The United States is approaching 500,000 coronavirus deaths on Monday. The half-million figure's symbolic power underscores the horror of the nightmare that gripped the country a year ago.
On February 23, 2020, former President Donald Trump boasted that "we've got it under control" and "we've had no deaths," revealing his lack of preparation for the disaster that was about to unfold during his tenure.
The current death toll, according to CNN, of nearly 499 000, is equivalent to more than six average NFL stadiums full of victims - back in the days when crowds could still fill massive sporting events. Each is a grandparent, parent, son, daughter, or sibling who is part of a horrendous death toll - the world's worst in the pandemic - nearly equivalent to the United States' combined losses in two world wars.
According to an AFP report on Monday, the pandemic has accumulated more than 2.46 million deaths in the world.
After almost a year since the announcement of the first death in the United States, on February 29, 2020, the figure is on the verge of exceeding half a million. "We haven't seen anything like it for 100 years since the 1918 pandemic," Anthony Fauci, an adviser to President Joe Biden, said Sunday. "It's something that will go down in the history of this country that so many people have died from a respiratory infection," he said.
The United States, the country hardest hit by COVID-19, surpassed 400,000 deaths in January on the eve of Biden's inauguration, who made the fight against the pandemic his top priority.
“500,000! That's 70,000 more than all the Americans who died during World War II in a four-year period," Biden exclaimed on Friday.
The president is pinning his hopes on the pace of vaccination. More than 61 million people received one of the two vaccines licensed in the United States (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna), and 18 million received the required two doses.
The United States officially hit 500,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, according to COVID-19 tracking data from Johns Hopkins University. That is more than double any other nation on Earth; the next closest is Brazil, with approx 246,000. pic.twitter.com/ojkc8kJkAg
President Joe Biden will observe a moment of silence Monday night for his fellow Americans who died from the coronavirus, the White House said.
In the evening, the president will deliver a speech on the lives lost to COVID-19 at Cross Hall. The first lady, vice president, and second gentleman will be in attendance, the executive mansion said in a press release.
The day before his inauguration, Biden held a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial to honor those killed by Covid-19. Biden has pledged to vaccinate at least 100 million people in his first 100 days in office.
Now the White House is trying to make amends for Trump's disastrous legacy. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading epidemiologist, opines that Americans may still need to wear masks in 2022 to protect themselves against the coronavirus, something the former president scoffed at.