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People walk through "In America: Remember," a public art installation commemorating all of the Americans who have died due to COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

The U.S. surpassed 700,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Why it matters: A summer of division over vaccine and masking mandates only added to the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant. The U.S. went from 600,000 deaths to 700,000 in the span of three-and-a-half months.

  • Public health experts have become increasingly frustrated as the "pandemic of the unvaccinated" spread across the country.
  • Roughly 70 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated, AP reports.

Go deeper

United Airlines: Employee deaths dropped to zero after vaccine mandate

Photo: Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

Since United Airlines' COVID-19 vaccine mandate went into effect last summer, no employee has died, CEO Scott Kirby said in a letter to employees.

Driving the news: Kirby said that prior to the vaccine mandate, "tragically, more than one United employee on average *per week* was dying from COVID,” but "we’ve now gone eight straight weeks with zero COVID-related deaths among our vaccinated employees."

Axios-Ipsos poll: America retrenches on COVID

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Social distancing and self-quarantining have spiked in recent weeks as Omicron puts the nation in a crouch like last spring before vaccines became widely available, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: 36% of vaccinated survey respondents who have tested positive for the virus or think they've had it now say they were infected after being fully vaccinated. That compares with 22% in mid-December, and just 6% last summer.

Jan 11, 2022 - Health

Quebec to impose tax on unvaccinated people

Premier of Quebec François Legault. Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Quebec plans to tax people who have remained unvaccinated from COVID-19 for non-medical reasons, Premier François Legault announced at a press briefing Tuesday.

Why it matters: The measure would make Quebec the first province in Canada to impose a financial penalty on the unvaccinated, per The Globe and Mail, and comes as hospitalizations due to the virus have surged.