More than 800,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus, the highest recorded national death toll from the global pandemic.
It comes as the US reached 50 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday, December, 13.
Most deaths were recorded among the unvaccinated and the elderly, and more Americans died in 2021 than in 2020. The last 100,000 deaths came in just the past 11 weeks.
“As we mark the tragic milestone of 800,000 American deaths due to Covid-19, we remember each person and the lives they lived, and we pray for the loved ones left behind,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.
Covid-19: US surpasses 800,000 pandemic deaths
Members of Congress including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer participate in a moment of silence for the 800,000 American lives lost to Covid-19 on December 14, 2021 in Washington, DC.
“To heal, we must remember. We must also act,” he said. “As we head into the winter and confront a new variant, we must resolve to keep fighting this virus together.”
According to official data, the risk of dying from Covid-19 was 14 times higher among people who had not been fully vaccinated, compared to those who had, in September, the latest month analyzed.
“The waves of illness that we’re seeing will continue until the population-level immunity is high enough to prevent them. Quite simply, we’re not there yet,” said Dr. Keri Althoff, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.