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More than two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States has hit another grim milestone. 805 days after the CDC recorded the first official Covid-19 death in the U.S. on February 27, 2020, President Biden mourned the death of one million Americans, speaking of “irreplaceable losses, each leaving behind a family, a community forever changed because of this pandemic.”
“As a nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow. To heal, we must remember,” Biden said in an official statement. “The idea of one million deaths in an outbreak is historic in nature,” Biden’s Chief Medial Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said, lamenting that many of those deaths could have been avoidable. “It’s estimated that, if people had been vaccinated to a much greater extent right now, that vaccines would have avoided at least a quarter of those deaths, namely about 250,000,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview with PBS.
After a brief respite in the spring/summer of 2021, when vaccinations and warmer weather combined to slow down the spread of the virus and consequently the number of deaths, the Delta wave that hit in late summer/early fall made things worse again. As the following chart shows, the rate of Covid deaths re-accelerated in late 2021 and early 2022, before thankfully slowing down in the last three months. While it took just 50 days to go from 800,000 deaths in December 2021 to 900,000 on February 3. It has taken twice as long to go from 900,000 to one million Covid casualties.
This chart shows the cumulative number of Covid-19 deaths in the United States.
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