COVID-19 deaths eclipse 700,000 in US as delta variant rages

This milestone was not expected to occur so soon. Late Friday, the U.S. death rate from COVID-19 surpassed 700,000.

COVID-19 deaths eclipse 700,000 in US as delta variant rages

This milestone was not expected to occur so soon. Late Friday, the U.S. death rate from COVID-19 surpassed 700,000. This is more than the entire population of Boston. The 100,000 deaths that occurred in the last 100 days were at a time when all Americans over 12 years old had access to vaccines, which can overwhelmingly prevent death, hospitalizations, and serious illness. This milestone is extremely disappointing for doctors, public health officials, and the American people, who have watched a pandemic that was easing in the summer turn into a deadly epidemic. Tens of millions of Americans refused to be vaccinated, allowing the deadly delta variant of the virus to ravage the country, killing 600,000-700,000 people in just three months. Florida was the state that suffered the greatest death rate, with 17,000 people dying from the virus since June. Texas came in second place with 13,000 deaths. These two states account 15% of the country's total population. However, they also account for more than 30% of all deaths in the country since the nation passed the 600,000. threshold. An infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. David Dowdy said that at least 70,000 of the nation's 100,000 deaths in the past year were unvaccinated. He said that most people who succumbed to breakthrough infections contracted from unvaccinated persons. Dowdy stated that if we were more efficient in our vaccinations, we could have prevented 90% deaths. Dowdy spoke out since June. Dowdy added, "It's more than a number on a monitor." It's thousands upon thousands of tragic stories about people whose loved ones have died. Danny Baker is one such person. The 28-year old seed hauler from Riley in Kansas contracted COVID-19 this summer. He spent over a month in hospital before he died on Sept. 14. He was survived by his wife and a 7-month old baby girl. His father J.D., 56, said that "this thing had taken a grown-up man, a 28-year old young man, 6'2"', 300-pound man and took him down as if it were nothing." Baker, Milford, Kansas. "And so, young people believe that they are still... protected due to their youth and strength. It's not true anymore. His mother recalled that Danny Baker, a high-school trap shooter and avid hunter and fisherman, was insistent that he would be the first to get vaccinated in the initial days of the pandemic. Just as vaccines became available to Baker's age group, the U.S. advised him to halt the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in order to investigate reports of dangerous and rare blood clots. He was scared by the news and the online information that the vaccine could cause fertility problems. However, medical experts agree that there is no biological reason for the shots to affect fertility. He was also breastfeeding so he decided to wait. Experts now recommend that breastfeeding mothers get the vaccine to protect themselves and their babies. Breastfeeding mothers may also be protected by antibodies in breastmilk. Aubrea Baker (27-year-old labor and delivery nurse), said that there is a lot of misinformation about the vaccine. She also stated that her husband's passing inspired at least 100 people to become vaccinated. It's not that we didn't want it. It was just that we hadn't yet gotten it. Mid-June saw 600,000 deaths. Vaccinations were already reducing caseloads. Restrictions were being lifted, and people were looking forward to life returning back to normal. The average death per day in the United States had fallen to 340 from an all-time high of more than 3,000 in January. Soon thereafter, officials declared the outbreak a pandemic among the unvaccinated. As the delta virus swept the country and caused a surge in caseloads, deaths, and injuries, especially among the young and unvaccinated, hospitals across the country reported dramatic increases in the number of admissions and deaths for those under 65. The hospitals also reported a surge in deaths and breakthrough infections, but at much lower rates. This prompted efforts to give booster shots to Americans who were most vulnerable. Daily deaths now average around 1,900 per day. Although cases have begun to decline from September's peak, there are fears that the situation will worsen during winter months as colder weather forces people into the house. President Joe Biden made a statement Saturday in which he lamented the "painful milestone", 700,000 deaths from COVID-19. He also said that it was important to not get numb to the pain. Biden reiterated his call for vaccinations, stating that the country had made "extraordinary progress" in fighting the coronavirus in the last eight months because of the vaccines. Biden stated, "It could save your life and those you love." It will help us defeat COVID-19, and allow us to move forward together as one nation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 65% of Americans have received at least one dose of vaccines, and 56% are fully vaccinated. Fear, misinformation, and political beliefs are causing millions to refuse or remain on the fence. Patients and others in the community who do not believe COVID-19 exists have reported threatening health care workers. In February 2020, the first deaths due to the virus were reported. It took four months for the virus to cause the first 100,000 deaths. It took less than a month for the worst phase of the disaster to reach 100,000 deaths. This was in the winter 2020-21. In mid-February, the U.S. suffered 500,000 deaths. This was during the winter surge in which vaccines were not available to everyone. In April, when all Americans became eligible for shots, the death toll was 570,000. Dr. Georges Benjamin is the American Public Health Association's executive director. "Then, we asked ourselves, 'Are you going to get up to 200,000?' "Then we said, 'Are we going to get to 200,000?'" We kept looking at the 100,000-death mark and eventually surpassed the estimated 675,000 American flu deaths caused by the 1918-19 pandemic. "And we're not done yet," Benjamin said. Deaths from the Delta surge were unrelenting in South hotspots. Since mid-June, nearly 79 people have died from COVID in Florida. This is the highest number in the country. Amanda Alexander, a COVID-19 ICU nursing nurse at Georgia's Augusta University Medical Center said that she had seen a patient die during each of her three previous shifts. "I have witnessed a 20-year old die. She said that she has seen 30-year-olds and 40-year olds die. They had no pre-existing conditions which would have made them more at risk. "Ninety nine percent of our patients have not been vaccinated. It's so frustrating, because the facts don't lie, and it's something we see every day.

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