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US nears 600,000 COVID-19 deaths since pandemic started, lawmakers hold moment of silence Monday

COVID-19 coronavirus hospital nurse
Posted at 3:37 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 19:23:08-04

Nearly 600,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus since it was first identified in early 2020, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the grim milestone will likely be surpassed Monday afternoon.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, and other leaders from both parties held a moment of silence Monday night in Washington, D.C. to remember those who have lost their lives to the virus.

More than 33.4 million Americans have contracted the virus and tested positive in the last year and a half.

America recorded the last 100,000 COVID-19 deaths just since Feb. 22.

The daily rate of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths is dramatically slowing down compared to the surge over the winter.

However, the 600,000 deaths milestone is a tragic reminder of how many people are still getting very sick and dying from COVID-19, despite the large numbers of people getting the vaccine.

Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming have seen their average infection rates rise over the last few weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. All of those states lag behind the national vaccination rate of 43% fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

America leads the world in both vaccine doses administered and COVID-19 deaths and infections.

Brazil has the next highest number of deaths from COVID-19, with just over 484,000 reported.

President Joe Biden had hoped to reach 70% of the population with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July 4. While some regions and individual counties have already met this goal, there are other parts of the country that are closer to 40% and will likely not reach the July 4 goal.

States and the Biden administration have been working with businesses and employers to offer “freebies” for vaccinated people, and paid time off for employees to get the shot and recover from any side effects.