The United States prepares to overcome the barrier of 500 thousand deaths from coronavirus, while the vaccination campaign offers a glimmer of hope.
“It’s terrible, it’s horrible,” immunologist Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden’s adviser, reacted Sunday.
“We haven’t seen anything like it in 100 years, since the 1918 pandemic,” he told CNN. “It’s something that will go down in history. In decades, people will still talk about this moment when so many people died.”
According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, on Sunday morning the death toll exceeded 497 thousand “people. The first death from Covid-19 in the United States was announced a year ago, on February 29, 2020.
In January, the United States reached 400,000 deaths. Three months passed before the country crossed another terribly symbolic high, that of 100,000 dead.
“500 thousand! There are 70 thousand (people) more than all the Americans killed during World War II, in a period of four years,” lamented President Joe Biden on Friday. “All this bitterness … all this sorrow … all this pain,” he finished.
In a speech at a Pfizer vaccine factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the 46th president of the United States noted that the rate of vaccination offers some hope.
“I think we will get closer to normal by the end of this year. God willing, this Christmas will be different from the previous one,” he said.
With an average of 1.7 million vaccines inoculated each day, a figure that should increase in the coming weeks, Biden was confident of reaching 600 million doses – that is, vaccinating the entire population – by the end of July.
In total, 61 million people received one of the two vaccines licensed in the United States (Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna), and 18 million have already had the two required doses.
In addition, after an epidemic peak in January, the weekly average of deaths and new cases is clearly declining, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.
The current wave of polar cold and snow storms in the country put a stop to the vaccination campaign in all states, Andy Slavitt, White House adviser against the coronavirus, said on Friday.
“There was never, ever, ever a greater logistical challenge than the one we tried to complete, but we are succeeding,” Biden said.
Fauci insists on the importance of vaccinating “as quickly as possible.”