THE death toll from the Covid pandemic will pass 400,000 by the time President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Wednesday.
Around 3400 Americans are dying each day and the Centres for Disease Control says another 14,400 Americans are projected to die from coronavirus over the next six days.
More 388,000 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data - and that figure is due to hit 400,000 by Biden's inauguration day, reported CNN.
The massive surge of Covid-19 nationwide is believed to have been fueled by people traveling over the holiday period, as well as casual at-home gatherings.
According to The Covid-19 Tracking Project, an average of 3,299 Americans have succumbed to the virus each day over the past week.
That’s more than the number of US citizens killed in the 9/11 terror attacks.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed at least 76 cases of a highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus that was first detected in the United Kingdom.
Those US cases were found in 12 states - California, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin and Georgia.
Arizona has the highest Covid-19 infection rate in the U.S. and is on the brink of running out of space in crowded hospitals, according to public-health and hospital officials, the Wall Street Journal reports.
California has also been particularly badly hit with and ICU beds have reached their lowest level.
Less than 1,100 ICU beds remain throughout the state, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Also of concern is the possible arrival of variant first detected in South Africa, which has been shown it might be able to escape some of the antibodies produced by a Covid-19 vaccine.
That strain was first spotted two months ago but has not been detected in the United States.
It comes as the United States ramps up its vaccination campaign, which is the largest operation of its kind in history.
The vaccination program is taking place in theme parks and resorts , such as Disneyland in Florida as well as football stadiums, major league ballparks, fairgrounds and convention centers.
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Covid shots will be available to such groups as senior citizens, teachers, bus drivers, police officers and firefighters.
As of Thursday morning, about 10.2 million vaccine doses had been administered, out of roughly 29.3 million doses that have been distributed across the United States, according to the CDC.
But only about 9 million people had received their first shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's online tracker.
That means only about 35 per cent of the available vaccines had been administered.