United Kingdom

US hits grim 600,000 COVID-19 death toll milestone

The United States hit a grim milestone and surpassed 600,000 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

That figure is more than the number of Americans who died during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined, and equal to the yearly cancer toll.

To put into context, it is about the population of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland; or Albuquerque, Mew Mexico. 

More than 3.8 million people have died from COVID-19 around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which means the U.S. accounts for 15 percent of all deaths, but just five percent of the global population, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The heartbreaking figures come almost exactly 17 weeks after America recorded 500,000 lives lost due to the virus.

The country has the highest overall death figure, reflecting the lack of a unified, national response. 

On Tuesday, the U.S. hit a grim milestone and surpassed 600,000 coronavirus deaths

The death toll is more than the number of Americans who died during World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War combined  and equal to the yearly cancer death toll

The first known deaths from the virus in the US happened in early February 2020. It took until May to reach the first 100,000 dead. The toll hit 200,000 deaths in September and 300,000 in December.

Then it took just over a month to go from 300,000 to 400,000 and about two months to climb from 400,000 to the brink of 500,000.      

Since then, the death rate has dramatically slowed, taking four months and one week to hit 600,000 deaths.

As devastating as that 600,000 figure is, the true death toll is believed to be much higher than official counts. 

President Joe Biden acknowledged the milestone during a press conference at the NATO summit in Belgium on Monday.  

'There's still too many lives being lost,' he said. 'Now is not the time to let our guard down.' 

There are still racial gaps when it comes to deaths.

Currently, black Americans account for 15 percent of all COVID-19 deaths, Hispanics for 19 percent, whites for 61 percent and Asians at four percent, each figure equal to their share of the U.S. population.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that after adjusting for age and other factors, blacks and Latinos are between two and three times more likely of COVID-19 than whites.

Additionally, an analysis from the Associated Press found that Latinos are dying of the virus at much younger ages than other racial or ethnic groups.

About 37 percent of Hispanic deaths from COVID-19 were of those under 65, versus 12 percent for white Americans and 30 percent for blacks.

What's more, Hispanic people between ages 30 and 39 have died at five times the rate of white people in the same age group.

Racial gaps persist with blacks and Latinos between two and three times more likely of COVID-19 than whites (above)

It took more than four months for the death toll to go from 500,000 to 600,000 after taking just 30 day to hit half a million from 400,000. Pictured: Mario Frausto embraces the casket of  his husband Terrance Sheppard, who passed away due to COVID-19 complications in Santa Monica, California, April 2021

Meanwhile, overall metrics are on the decline. 

On Tuesday, the U.S. reported 12,710 new infections, with a rolling average of 12,451, which is the the lowest figure seen since March 28, according to a DailyMail.com analysis.

There were 170 daily deaths recorded in the last 24 hours with a rolling average of about 319 - the lowest number since March 30, the analysis shows.

With dropping numbers and more than 52 percent of the U.S. population having been vaccinated with at least one dose, states have been dropping pandemic restrictions and mask requirements for residents, a big step in the return to pre-pandemic times. 

However, health officials are very concerned about the combination of highly infectious variants and unvaccinated Americans.

On Tuesday, Fox News reported that the Indian 'Delta' coronavirus variant will finally be classified as a 'variant of concern' by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The federal health agency plans to upgrade the mutant from 'variant of interest,' because of 'mounting evidence' that is more contagious than other variants rather than just suspected to be.

The mutant strain has been wreaking havoc in the UK, causing infections to spike 50 percent in one week and hospitalizations to rise by 15 percent. 

Scientists estimate that the Delta variant is between 40 percent and 80 percent transmissible, which has sparked fears that if it has already been detected in multiple U.S. states, a similar outbreak to the one in the UK could be on the horizon. 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

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