U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 600,000
More than 600,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S., according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The big picture: It's a higher death toll than the number of American soldiers killed in combat during the Vietnam War, World War I and World War II combined.
- It's also greater than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee, and equal to the number of Americans who died of cancer in 2019, according to AP.
- The number represents approximately 15% of the world's total coronavirus death toll, which stands at over 3.8 million.
The state of play: The latest grim milestone comes amid signs of optimism about the state of the pandemic in the U.S., where vaccines have helped drive down the seven-day average to about 14,000 new cases and less than 400 deaths per day.
- Over 51% of Americans 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, and 61% have received at least one dose, according to CDC data.
- It took nearly four months for the U.S. to go from 500,000 total deaths to 600,000, per JHU. By comparison, the country went from 400,000 to 500,000 deaths in a little over 30 days.
Yes, but: Vaccination rates have also slowed, even as the federal government and states have rolled out dozens of incentive programs to push 70% of American adults to be vaccinated by the Fourth of July.
What they're saying: "We have more work to do to beat this virus. And now is not the time to let our guard down," Biden said during a press conference at the NATO summit in Belgium, as he urged more people to get vaccinated "as soon as possible."