May 17, 2022 - Health

U.S. COVID death toll officially surpasses 1 million

Cumulative U.S. deaths due to COVID-19
Data: JHU; Chart: Axios Visuals

About two years after the U.S. confirmed its first COVID case, more than 1 million people in the nation have now died from the coronavirus, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University that posted on Tuesday.

The big picture: The gruesome milestone comes three months after the U.S. topped 900,000 COVID deaths. The coronavirus has killed people in the U.S. at higher rates than in other affluent countries, the New York Times reports.

What they're saying: "One million empty chairs around the dinner table. Each an irreplaceable loss. Each leaving behind a family, a community, and a Nation forever changed because of this pandemic," Biden said in a statement.

  • "We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible," Biden added, ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff until sunset on May 16 to honor the Americans who have died from the virus.

Worth noting: Experts remain concerned about the Omicron subvariant, as well as future COVID variants which they say are likely unavoidable.

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