More than half a million people have reportedly died from covid-19 in the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
NBC News reports that, according to its tally, the number of covid deaths in the country hit 500,011 on Sunday afternoon—about the population of Atlanta or Sacramento, the outlet notes—while the number of confirmed cases rose to 28,206,640. Those figures are greater than the ones found in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s count, which currently rest at approximately 496,000 deaths and 27.9 million cases. Either way, the nation far exceeds any other on Earth when it comes to total deaths or infections.
This stark reminder of the U.S. government’s yearlong failure to protect Americans from the pandemic’s worst consequences comes as the average number of daily new cases are on the decline nationwide.
“The slope that’s coming down is really terrific—it’s very steep, and it’s coming down very, very quickly. But we are still at a level that’s very high,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend, per CNBC. He added that we’re not “out of the woods” yet and should continue to practice all available public health measures that work to slow or prevent transmission of the virus.
Some promising news is that the U.S. is still administering more than 1.5 million covid vaccine doses per day, even amidst the past week’s brutal snowstorms and their resulting infrastructural fallout, The New York Times reports. A little over 5% of the population is fully vaccinated, and approximately 13% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.