Where the pandemic has been deadliest
In the seven states hit hardest by the pandemic, more than 1 in every 500 residents have died from the coronavirus.
Why it matters: The staggering death toll speaks to America's failure to control the virus.
Details: In New Jersey, which has the highest death rate in the nation, 1 out of every 406 residents has died from the virus. In neighboring New York, 1 out of every 437 people has died.
- In Mississippi, 1 out of every 477 people has died. And in South Dakota, which was slammed in the fall, 1 of every 489 people has died.
States in the middle of the pack have seen a death rate of around 1 in 800 dead.
- California, which has generally suffered severe regional outbreaks that don't span the entire state, has a death rate of 1 in 899.
- Vermont had the lowest death rate, at 1 of every 3,436 residents.
The bottom line: Americans will keep dying as vaccinations ramp up, and more transmissible variants of the coronavirus could cause the outbreak to get worse before it gets better.
- Experts also say it's time to start preparing for the next pandemic — which could be deadlier.