More than 500,000 people have now died from Covid-19 in the US, just over a year after the country detected its first cases of a virus that has wrought almost unprecedented loss.
Deaths breached half a million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to 500,071. More than 28 million people have also tested positive for coronavirus in the US.
Both numbers are the worst in the world and the pandemic has thrown a harsh spotlight on the country’s ability to cope with such a disaster, especially during the tumultuous tenure of Donald Trump, whose administration botched the government response.
In a primetime address on Monday night, Joe Biden spoke to the gravity of the milestone.
“As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate,” the president said in a speech, which was followed by a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House. “While we’ve been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic.”
After a devastating winter surge in cases, for the first time in months, the average number of daily new coronavirus cases in the US fell below 100,000 on 12 February. Even with the decrease in cases, the US is still experiencing 1,500 to 3,500 deaths a day and public health officials have warned recent progress could easily reverse.
Perhaps the biggest threat is the new variants of the virus, which appear to spread more quickly and easily. Scientists are working to understand how these variants could change the effectiveness of vaccines as the US attempts to ramp up the scale of its inoculation distribution.
About 13% of the US population, or 43 million people, have received their first dose of the vaccine, according to the Washington Post. Biden pledged this month to make 600m doses of the vaccine available by the end of July. (Guardian)
The former Caretaker Committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, …