US COVID-19 death toll eclipses 700,000

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US COVID-19 death toll eclipses 700,000

More than 700,000 Americans have now died of coronavirus, a heartbreaking pandemic milestone reached Friday — nearly six months after the COVID-19 vaccine first became widely available.

The US averaged more than 2,000 deaths a day during the last week of September, a rate which represents about 60 percent of the peak in fatalities recorded in January.

The current level of daily cases is 117,625 a day, down from a mid-September Delta variant-driven peak, but far short of the 10,000 daily cases that White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said are needed to end the pandemic.

While the surge from the Delta variant is beginning to slow down, the strain spread rampantly through unvaccinated Americans in the 3 ½ months it took for the country to go from 600,000 to 700,000 deaths.

New York City continued to be disproportionately affected by the virus overall, with more than 34,000 deaths — or about 5 percent of total US fatalities — occurring in the boroughs, government data showed.

Internationally, nearly 5 million people have been killed by COVID-19, according to health data.

A photograph can be seen attached to a flag as part of Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg's "In America: Remember", a memorial for Americans who died due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the national death toll nears 700,000, next to the Washington Monument in Washington, U.S., October 1, 2021.
The grim milestone comes as officials introduce booster vaccine shots to protect at-risk populations.
REUTERS
Maria Ortiz reacts while kneeling beside the body of her partner Jose Holguin, 50, originally from the Dominican Republic, who died of complications related to COVID-19, during a viewing service for Mr. Holguin at International Funeral & Cremation Services during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
The US averaged more than 2,000 deaths a day during the last week of September.
REUTERS

The grim milestone comes as officials introduce booster vaccine shots to protect at-risk populations.

Only 56 percent of the US population is fully immunized, a rate that trails dozens of other countries who received access to the shot months after it was widely available in the states. The vaccine overwhelmingly protect against hospitalizations and death. 

In general, vaccination rates are highest in the Northeast and West Coast and lowest in the Midwest and South, according to CDC data.

With Post wires

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