The past week was America’s deadliest of the pandemic so far, with 22,680 coronavirus fatalities in the past seven days.
By comparison, 20,876 Americans had died in the seven-day period ending in Thursday of last week.
In the pat 24 hours alone, a staggering 3,769 people died of COVID-19 in the US, and another 229,386 infections were reported, according to data tracking from Johns Hopkins University.
More than 23 million people in the US have had COVID-19 and the infection has killed more than 388,000 Americans, in total.
It’s a continuation of a disturbing trend in the US. Between March 15 and December 26, 2020, a horrifying 400,000 more people died in the US than would be expected in a typical year, according to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That estimate includes not only deaths from COVID-19 itself, but the monumental collateral damage of the pandemic: thousands of heart disease deaths that might have been prevented if Americans weren’t terrified to go to the hospital, an uptick in cancer fatalities, a rash of suicides amid the isolation and despair of the past year.
Pandemic fatalities knocked off 1.13 years from American life expectancy – the largest decline in 40 years, and the most significant shift due to a pandemic since the 1918 Spanish flu, according to new University of Southern California research.
And COVID-19 wiped out at least 14 years of gains in life expectancy for black and LatinX people in the US. The gap between white and minority life expectancy is projected to widen by 40 percent – as much as five years – in the coming years, as a result.
The arrival of vaccines will ultimately help to stop the bleeding, but much damage is already done, and the US rollout is painstakingly slow, with just 11.9 million doses of COVID-19 shots administered, covering about only 3.6 percent of Americans.
A new threat has emerged as well. At lest 92 people in the US have already been infected with a highly-infectious ‘super-covid’ variant that emerged in the UK. Scientists suspect a more contagious homegrown variant already accounts for half of US cases, and another two ‘super-covid’ variants were detected this week.
Dangerously infectious variants from South Africa and Brazil have not yet been detected in the US – but with both already in the UK, it’s likely just a matter of time before they are on American soil, if they aren’t already.
These new variants aren’t in and of themselves more deadly, but have triggered case surges and lockdowns in others nations, and will inevitably drive up the death toll.
The US has seen a decrease in life expectancy of 1.13 years, according to researchers from the University of South California. White people were affected least, with the expected lifespan falling by just nine months to 77.84 years. However, black people and latinos were hit much harder, with their life expectancy shrinking by more than two and three years, respectively, to 72.78 and 78.77 years
The rise in COVID-19 deaths really begins with spiking case numbers, then mounting hospitalizations that force care rationing and patient overflow tents and ultimately full funeral homes and mobile morgues.
By now, it’s a familiar pattern, already being seen again in states like California.
The state has suspended all non-life-threatening surgeries at hospitals in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley in a desperate bid to relieve the massive pressure of COVID-19 patients.
More than 22,200 people are hospitalized for coronavirus in the state, down just slightly from the peak of 22,851 on January 6, according to The COVID-19 Tracking Project figures.
California saw another 552 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, and 35,930 more infections were reported. The state had not updated its Thursday data at the time of publication.
However, hospitalizations are stable or falling in every state but Vermont, compared to last week.
COVID-19 deaths, on the other hand, up by more than 10 percent over last week’s fatalities in 23 states, according to COVID Tracking Project.
Arizona is seeing another wave of coronavirus cases, and now has more infections per capita than anywhere else not only in the US, but the world.
At least 658,156 people in the state have had COVID-19 – about nine percent of its population.
Like California, Massachusetts has been forced to set up field hospitals like this one at the University of Massachusetts, to hold and monitor surging numbers of COVID-19 patients
And that number is rising rapidly, with 9,146 new infections reported Thursday. Another 185 Arizonans died yesterday, bringing the state’s total death toll to 11,040.
California and Rhode Island have the next highest case rates per capita in the world, followed by Bahrain.
Its data also suggests that COVID-19 deaths are now 25 percent higher than any other week since the pandemic began (Johns Hopkins University’s data shows an increase, but a more modest one of about nine percent over last week’s, the previous high).
According to Johns Hopkins University, an average of 3,240 Americans have succumbed to the virus each day over the past week – more than the number of US citizens killed in the September 11 terror attacks.
Shockingly, the total number of COVID-19 deaths reported in the past week has exceeded 22,000.
That number is the CDC’s estimate for flu-related deaths across the entire 2019-2020 season.
In total 388,533 Americans have now lost their lives from COVID-19 since the outbreak began back in March of last year.
An analysis of COVID Tracking Project data has revealed that COVID-19 deaths are now as much as 25 percent higher than any other week since the pandemic began
Analysis from The COVID-19 Tracking Project shows weekly deaths are up 25 percent from last week – which was the most deadly seven days of the pandemic thus far
Meanwhile, the US has also seen its highest number of weekly cases since the pandemic began.
An average of 235,978 cases have been recorded each day over the past week.
On Thursday, that number was slightly down to 222,9444.
Cases are increasing most dramatically in the south and west, particularly in Alabama, Georgia and Arizona.
The COVID-19 Tracking Project reports that Arizona currently has the worst per-capita new case numbers in the world.
Hospitalizations across the country remain stubbornly high. There are currently 128,947 Americans receiving in-patient care at medical facilities across the country.
The news is made no better by the fact the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out continues to lag.
Just 11 million doses have been distributed since the first shot was given exactly one month ago – on December 14.
The United States had planned to administer at least 20 million shots by the end of December 2020, but fell well short of the target.
More than 30 million doses of the vaccine have currently been distributed across the country, meaning at least 19 million are currently sitting in freezers.
But in some bright news, Texas passed a milestone on Thursday, becoming the first state to administer one million shots.
‘Texas is leading the way for our nation once again,’ Gov. Greg Abbott stated after the news was announced shortly after 11 am.
‘This is the biggest vaccination effort we have ever undertaken, and it would not be possible without the dedication and tireless efforts of our healthcare workers.’
In Texas, healthcare workers, all adults over the age of 65, and any adult with a chronic medical condition are currently to be vaccinated.
In some bright news, Texas passed a milestone on Thursday, becoming the first state to administer one million shots. A man is pictured having his temperature taken as he prepares to be vaccinated at a ‘mega vaccination site’ set up in Dallas this week
A crowd of Texans line up to receive their COVID-19 vaccine outside the new ‘mega vaccination site’ in Dallas
A CNN analysis of vaccination data obtained from from six states has revealed that roughly twice as many women as men are getting the shot.
Experts believe this could be because there are more elderly women than men, given that women have a longer life expectancy than their male counterparts.
Women also represent three-quarters of all full-time US health care workers – an industry that has been allowed access to first doses of the vaccine.
Hospitalizations across the country remain stubbornly high. There are currently 128,947 Americans receiving in-patient care at medical facilities across the country