As the US approached half a million Covid-19 deaths, the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, struggled for words to convey the grim magnitude of the death toll from the pandemic.
“It’s terrible,” he told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “It’s really horrible. It is something that is historic. It’s nothing like we’ve ever been through in the last 102 years, since the 1918 influenza pandemic.”
Fauci added that “decades from now” people would be “talking about this a terribly historic milestone in the history of this country. To have these many people to have died from a respiratory born infection, it really is a terrible situation that we’ve been through and that we’re still going through.”
The US death toll stood at 497,957, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US has long had the highest Covid-19 death toll of any country. According to the World Health Organization it has one of the worst per capita death rates, at 148.61 per 100,000. Countries including the UK, Italy and Portugal have higher per capita rates.
Although infection rates have been steadily declining since record highs in early January, the US still recorded 13,347 deaths and more than 500,000 new cases in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins.
Main Photo: First responder Barry Hunter receives his second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Fulton County Board of Health’s mass vaccination site inside the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Georgia, USA. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER
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