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Expand chart
Data: Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins and The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Michelle McGhee and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

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.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: The end of quarantine — CDC updates guidance on airborne COVID-19.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Dave Lawler, author of World
Feb 9, 2021 - World

The country that rejected coronavirus vaccines

At the market in Dar es Salaam. Photo: Ericky Boniphace/AFP via Getty

A number of countries around the world have fudged official coronavirus statistics, shared artificially sunny outlooks about the pandemic, or cracked down on reports that counter the official narrative.

Zoom in: But no country has taken coronavirus denial to the extent of Tanzania — which is not only denying that it has a single case, but it's also rejecting vaccines.

CDC chief: Trump-appointed aides "politically swayed" some COVID guidelines

CDC director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

CDC director Rochelle Walensky told the Washington Post on Monday that "a vast minority" of the agency's COVID-19 pandemic response guidelines had been "politically swayed" by some staff appointed by former President Trump.

Driving the news: Walensky said CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat was leading a review into the matter and that the agency was updating affected guidelines.