More than half a million people in the United States have now died from, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a devastating milestone one year into the pandemic, which has upended so many aspects of life across the country and around the world.
The milestone comes asroll out nationwide but new variants continue to emerge, creating uncertainty about the future.
It has been 13 months since the U.S. confirmed its first case of the virus, but the death toll has only intensified in recent months. More than 138,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. just since January 1.
At 5 p.m., the flag at the White House was lowered to half staff and the bells at the National Cathedral began to toll. President Bidena short time later to commemorate the lives lost, and then Mr. Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses held a moment of silence.
“500,000 lives lost to COVID-19. It’s an unfathomable number, but each one represents a family that will never again be whole. To those who have lost loved ones: I know no words can numb the pain, but I hope you find some solace in knowing the nation grieves with you,” Mr. Biden tweeted.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, reflected on the toll in an interview this Morning.” “Back in the late winter and early spring of 2020 when we gave the modeling number of 240,000, people thought that we were being hyperbolic about that and somewhat alarmist, and clearly that was not the case,” he said. “This is a horrible landmark that we’ve now reached.”
As the toll continues to rise, the vaccination process has been criticized for being sluggish and disorganized. Roughlydoses were delayed because of last week’s disastrous . The delays impacted every state, and thousands of vaccine appointments had to be canceled.