US COVID Death Toll Approaches 1M

900,000 people have died, officials say
By Stephanie Mojica,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2022 2:20 PM CST
900K Americans Have Died of COVID
The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. is approaching 1 million, with 100,000 lives lost since Dec. 12, per Reuters.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The US death toll from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is inching closer to 1 million as the Omicron variant rages throughout the world, the AP reports. More than 10% of the 900,000 Americans lost to the virus died after Dec. 12, per Reuters. “If you had told most Americans two years ago as this pandemic was getting going that 900,000 Americans would die over the next few years, I think most people would not have believed it," said the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Ashish K. Jha called the current death toll "astronomically high" and mourned the fact that many of the deaths happened after vaccines were available. "We failed on how to help people get vaccinated, to combat disinformation, to not politicize this," he added.

At least 1 million lives have been saved through the vaccines, President Biden said. The president took time Friday to mourn those who have died from COVID-19, per CNN. "They were beloved mothers and fathers, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters, neighbors, and friends," Biden said in a written statement. "Each soul is irreplaceable." The president urged anyone who has not received an initial vaccine to do so, and for others to get their booster shots. Adults who don't get any dose of the vaccine have a nearly 100 times higher chance of dying from the coronavirus, according to CNN. At this rate, US COVID-19 deaths could reach 1 million by April, Jha said. (COVID-19 deaths in Europe are beginning to plateau, a WHO official said.)

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