The United States on Monday crossed the staggering milestone of 500,000 COVID-19 deaths just over a year since the coronavirus pandemic claimed its first known victim in Santa Clara County, California.
The country had recorded more than 28 million COVID-19 cases and 500,054 lives lost as of Monday afternoon, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, although daily cases and hospitalizations have fallen to the lowest level since before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
About 19% of total global coronavirus deaths have occurred in the United States, an outsized figure given that the nation accounts for just 4% of the world’s population.
“These numbers are stunning,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease adviser to President Joe Biden told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” program. “If you look back historically, we’ve done worse than almost any other country and we’re a highly developed, rich country.”
Joe Biden began his presidency by marking a devastating milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. One month later, he presided over a somber memorial once again, leading the nation in the mourning of 500,000 American covid-19 deaths.
On Monday evening, as the official toll neared half a million, Biden held a moment of silence and a candle- lighting ceremony at the White House, accompanied by Vice President Harris.
“That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other nation on Earth,” Biden said. “But as we acknowledge the scale of this mass death in America, we remember each person and the life they lived.
” The event recalled scenes from almost exactly a month ago, on the eve of Biden’s inauguration, when he and Harris convened a vigil for coronavirus victims at the Lincoln Memorial.