Jan 19, 2021 - Health

U.S. surpasses 400,000 coronavirus deaths on Trump's final full day in office

Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Over 400,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S. as of Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

Why it matters: It only took a little over a month for the U.S. to reach this mass casualty after 300,000 COVID deaths were reported last month. That's over 100,000 fatalities in 36 days.

  • The grave loss of life also comes on the eve of Joe Biden's inauguration — Trump's final full day in office — and underscores the magnitude of the crisis that his administration will inherit. He has tried to prepare the country for "a very, very, very dark winter," as described by incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

What they're saying: “One in every 820 people in our country have died during this pandemic — often alone, typically away from family and friends — comforted only by physicians and nurses in layers of PPE," the American Medical Association said in a statement.

  • "Today, vaccine distribution is underway, and there is hope on the horizon. Vaccines are safe, effective, prevent illness and save lives. Protect yourselves and your loved ones by getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn."
  • The AMA stressed that Americans should wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands to reduce deaths and slow the spread.

Where it stands: Demand for coronavirus vaccines is outstripping supply, with nearly half of the distributed doses currently given, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

What to watch: The President-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will hold a memorial service around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on Tuesday evening to honor American lives lost to the virus.

  • New York City's Empire State Building, Seattle's Space Needle, plus buildings in Las Vegas, Miami, Houston and Chicago and tribal lands throughout the nation will also light up.

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