More than half a million people have now died of Covid in the US just a year after the pandemic began.
The grim milestone was reached earlier today and will be marked by a special ceremony at the White House, led to President Biden, to mark the mass loss of life.
A total of 500,071 Americans have lost their lives to coronavirus since February 6 last year, according to John Hopkins University’s Covid tracker.
That date is when the very first Covid death was registered in Santa Clara County, California.
There have been more than 28 million cases of the virus.
A White House official has said that Joe Biden will make a speech and hold a candle lighting ceremony in Washington later tonight, to pay tribute to those who have sadly succumbed to the virus.
It comes as the President has said the country is on track to administer 100 million Covid vaccine doses in 100 days. He has said that around 1.7 million people are receiving a jab in the US every single day.
Half-a-million lives lost to Covid is almost 70,000 more than the amount of American deaths registered in World War Two, Biden said speaking at a Pfizer vaccine factory on Friday.
States have inoculated an average of 12% of their populations, with vaccines still only available for front-line workers, the elderly and medically vulnerable.
President Biden has so far refused to be drawn into making comments about when the pandemic might be brought to an end in America.
Meanwhile Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the 500,000 deaths milestone is a ‘terrible situation’, reports CNN.
He said: ‘It’s something that is historic. It’s nothing like we’ve ever been though in the last 102 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic.
‘It really is a terrible situation that we’ve been through and that we’re still going through. And that’s the reason why we keep insisting to continue with the public health measures – because we don’t want this to get much worse than it already is.’
The US recorded its deadliest day of the entire pandemic on January 13 – when 4,300 people lost their lives to the virus – and the daily number of deaths has regularly topped 1,000.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is predicting that an additional 91,000 Americans may die of Covid by June.
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Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown
Boris Johnson has laid out his plans to lift Covid-19 restrictions in England, following weeks of lockdown which began on January 4.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the route back to normality will depend upon four tests for easing restrictions and will take into account the success of the vaccine rollout.
- Boris Johnson unveils four-step plan out of lockdown
- All schools in England to return from March 8
- Outdoor sports to return next month as lockdown eases
- Hairdressers, barbers and salons to stay shut until April 12 at the earliest
- Families to reunite indoors from May as two households can mix
- Pub beer gardens to open from April 12 and Scotch egg rule won’t return
- Restaurants and drinking inside pubs to return from May
- Work from home orders to continue until late June at earliest
- UK staycations to return from April at earliest, Boris confirms
- Gyms to reopen from April for people exercising alone or with their household
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