U.S. covid-19 deaths hit 600000, equal to yearly cancer toll

U.S. covid-19 deaths hit 600000, equal to yearly cancer toll

U.S. covid-19 deaths hit 600000, equal to yearly cancer toll

The US death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic surpassed 600 000 on Tuesday, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University, with President Joe Biden mourning the latest "sad milestone" and urging Americans to press on with vaccinations.

As hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 in the USA have continued to drop, a growing number of states are moving to end numerous public health measures imposed to curb the pandemic.

Behind Vermont, just 13 states and the District of Columbia have so far gotten at least one dose to at least 70% of their adult residents.

"My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one", Biden said, speaking on Monday in Brussels as the tally ticked close to 600 000.

"We have more work to do to beat this virus and now's not the time to let our guard down", said President Joe Biden on the sidelines of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meetings in Brussels, Belgium, urging people to get vaccinated.

With vaccinations down to about 1.10 million doses per day last week - some 67% lower than the highest seven-day rate - the Biden administration and state governors have come up with all manner of incentives to get unvaccinated people to roll up their sleeves.

In New York city - where more than 33,000 died from Covid - life took a major step forward as nearly all restrictions were lifted.

"To do that, we need 11 billion doses", he said.

"It is the national goal, and we hit it ahead of schedule. It means that we can now return to life as we know it".

While studies suggest all of the now authorized vaccines in the USA remain effective against all "variants of concern", federal health officials have warned of lower effectiveness in those who have not yet gotten their second dose. NPR has this context: "Barely a month passed between 400,000 and a half-million deaths, but it has taken almost four times as long to reach the 600,000 mark". The nation went from 400,000 to 500,000 deaths in just 35 days.

Experts are concerned about the recent arrival of the new Delta variant of the disease, which initially appeared in India.

Some states have even launched lotteries which only vaccinated people can enter, with prizes of up to several million dollars.

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