Coronavirus deaths in the United States reached another one-day high at more than 4,300, with the country’s attention largely focused on the fallout from the deadly uprising on Capitol Hill.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the nation’s total death toll from COVID-19 has eclipsed 380,000, and is rapidly approaching the number of Americans killed in World War II, around 407,000. Confirmed infections have exceeded 22 ,8000000.
As the country simultaneously faces a political crisis and bordering on threats of further violence from far-right extremists, the United States on Tuesday recorded 4,327 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ tally. Arizona and California were among the hardest hit states.
The daily figure is subject to revision, but deaths have risen sharply over the past two and a half months, and the country is now in the deadliest phase of the outbreak, even as the vaccine is being rolled out. New cases are running at almost a quarter of a million a day on average.
More than 9.3 million Americans have received their first vaccine, or less than 3% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s well below the hundreds of millions that experts say will need to be vaccinated to beat the epidemic.
The effort is intensifying across the country. Large-scale drive-thru vaccination sites have opened in stadiums and other venues, allowing people to get vaccinated through their car windows.
In addition, an increasing number of states have started offering vaccines to the next group – the elderly – with the minimum age varying from place to place at 65, 70 or 75. So far, Health workers and residents of nursing homes were given priority in most places.
And the Trump administration on Tuesday announced plans to speed up the vaccination campaign by releasing the entire supply of doses, instead of keeping large amounts in reserve to ensure people get their second injection at time.