US COVID-19 death toll surpasses 600,000

The rate of severe illness and death has fallen dramatically, but hundreds of people are still dying daily.

Tags: US Coronavirus
Ben Ariel ,

COVID-19 test
COVID-19 test

The death toll in the United States from COVID-19 surpassed 600,000 people on Tuesday, The Hill reports.

The rate of severe illness and death has fallen dramatically as more and more people get vaccinated, but hundreds of people are still dying daily.

Worldwide, more than 176 million people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, and more than 3.8 million have died from it.

In late February, the US became the first country to surpass a half-million coronavirus deaths. That it has taken more than three months to reach 600,000 deaths is a testament to the slowing pandemic, as it took just a month for the US to jump from 300,000 to 400,000 COVID-19 deaths.

At the same time, it is also a sign that the virus is still circulating, and new variants pose an even greater threat to the remaining people who are unvaccinated. Nationally, 64.5 percent of people in America above age 18 have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccination rate in the US fell by nearly half in the past few months, according to The Hill. At its peak in mid-April, an average of nearly 3.4 million vaccines were being administered daily, but by May about 1.8 million were being administered, a drop of 46 percent.

The daily rate of vaccinations dropped below 1 million doses for the first time earlier this month.

Commenting on the 600,000-death milestone, President Joe Biden tweeted on Tuesday, “Today we passed a grim milestone: 600,000 lives lost from COVID-19. My heart goes out to all those who’ve lost a loved one. I know that black hole that seems to consume you, but a time will come when their memory brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the lifting of most coronavirus restrictions in the state after New York passed the threshold of having 70% of adult residents vaccinated,

“All the state-mandated restrictions are lifted on commercial social settings sports and recreation construction, manufacturing, retail buildings, all across the board we can get back to living and businesses can open, because the state mandates are gone, social gathering restrictions capacity restrictions the health screenings, [and] the cleaning and disinfecting protocols,” the governor said.

Federal mask mandates will remain in effect in pre-K schools, mass transit, ride-hail services and health-care.