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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 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
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.