22 Feb 2021: US: Coronavirus death toll approaches grim milestone of 500,000
The United States, which has been touching one grim milestone after another since the coronavirus outbreak in late 2019, is now close to logging 500,000 deaths.
Johns Hopkins University's data indicated that the death toll has surpassed the number of people who died in 2019 of chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer's, flu, and pneumonia combined, reports PTI.
Here are more details.
Battle: Deaths in US comparable to population of Atlanta
Evidently, US's battle against coronavirus was derailed due to a lot of factors, the biggest being the citizens' refusal to wear masks.
The cases, too, have been rising continuously with the current tally standing at 28,765,423, according to Worldometers.
To give a perspective, the tally of the second worst-hit nation, India, stands at 11,005,850 while that of the third worst-hit Brazil at 10,168,174.
Statement: 'It really is a terrible situation that we've been through'
Reflecting on the situation in the US, the country's top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said, "It's something that is historic. It's nothing like we've ever been through in the last 102 years since the 1918 influenza pandemic."
He also reiterated the importance of coronavirus-appropriate behavior saying that is the only way to ensure the crisis doesn't get worse.
Details: Americans could be wearing masks in 2022 as well
Further, Dr. Fauci predicted that Americans could still be wearing masks in 2022.
"Obviously, I think we are going to have a significant degree of normality beyond the terrible burden that all of us have been through over the last year," he told CNN.
In another interview, he asserted it was too soon to say when the US would reach herd immunity.
Ceremony: Biden will participate in candle-lighting ceremony to honor the deceased
As the US is entering another dark phase in the COVID-19 war, President Joe Biden will on Monday participate in a candle-lighting ceremony to remember those who died of the disease.
The event will also be attended by First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, a White House communique confirmed.
Biden is expected to deliver remarks as well.
Italy: Separately, virologist blamed English variant for uptick in Italy's cases
Like the US, the situation in Italy, the first European nation to be ripped apart by the virus last year, isn't bright either.
Massimo Galli, a top virologist, on Sunday expressed concern, even as Italians ignored appeals to stay indoors.
"The resurgence in infections is due in large part to the English variant," Galli, who is based at Sacco de Milan hospital, reportedly said.