Dec 27, 2020 - Health

U.S. hits grim new milestones as coronavirus vaccines are rolled out

A team of health care workers turning a patient from their stomach onto their back in the Covid-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at Renown Regional Medical Center on December 16, 2020 in Reno, Nevada.

A team of health care workers in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, on Dec. 16. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The number of COVID-19 infections confirmed in the U.S. surpassed 19 million on Sunday, per Johns Hopkins. The U.S. coronavirus death toll stands at over 333,000.

The big picture: The New York Times notes this means "at least 1 in 17" Americans have tested positive for the virus during the pandemic. The Census Bureau estimated the U.S. population to be about 330,750,000 for the last week of December, per CNN. That means the virus has killed roughly one in every 1,000 in the U.S.

The bottom line: NIAID director Anthony Fauci has said the U.S. would need to vaccinate 70-90% of the population to achieve herd immunity and enable economies to safely remain open.

  • Fauci told CNN Sunday the vaccine rollout will gain more momentum into the spring and it's due to reach the general American population by mid-late April.
  • He warned that "the worst is yet to come," with a "surge upon a surge" expected after the holiday season.
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