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[WATCH] U.S. Hits Somber Milestone of One Million COVID Deaths

[WATCH] U.S. Hits Somber Milestone of One Million COVID Deaths

A number thought unfathomable at the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has now become a somber milestone and a grim reminder that Covid is far from over.

The U.S. on Wednesday surpassed 1 million Covid-19 deaths, according to data, a once unthinkable scale of loss even for the country with the world’s highest recorded toll from the virus. That number is equivalent to the population of San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the U.S. The death toll was reached at stunning speed, just 27 months after the country confirmed its first case of the virus.

Empty chairs are on display to represent the 200,000 lives lost due to COVID-19 at the National COVID-19 Remembrance, on the ellipse behind the White House in Washington, DC on October 4, 2020. – US President Donald Trump has “continued to improve” as he is treated for COVID-19 at a military hospital near Washington, his doctors said Sunday, adding that he could be discharged as early as Monday. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

While deaths from Covid have slowed in recent weeks, about 360 people have still been dying every day. The casualty count is far higher than what most people could have imagined in the early days of the pandemic, particularly because Donald Trump and members of his administration repeatedly downplayed the virus while in office. “This is their new hoax,” Trump said of Democrats in front of a cheering crowd at a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 28, 2020. “So far we have lost nobody to coronavirus.” A day later, health officials in Washington made the inevitable announcement: a coronavirus patient in their state had died.

Now, more than two years and 999,999 fatalities later, the U.S. death toll is the world’s highest total by a significant margin, figures show. In a distant second is Brazil, which has recorded just over 660,000 confirmed Covid deaths. Per capita, the U.S. ranks 18th worldwide in Covid deaths, while Peru has the highest number. Still, many see the staggering death toll as evidence of America’s inadequate response to the crisis.

More than 80 percent of Covid deaths from April to December 2021 were unvaccinated Americans, according to the CDC. As of February, the risk of death from Covid was 20 times higher for unvaccinated people than for those who were vaccinated and boosted, the CDC data showed.

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